Well, I do not know much about ice dance, so it's going to be very general report. It's the first time I attend the CD at French GP, and it's very weird event. It is closed to public, so the only people is attendance are accredited journalist and fellow competitors, coaches and officials. Really eeirie feeling, dancers all dressed up in a very large and nearly completely empty arena. Of course, CD is never that well-attended anyway, but usually at least there are some die-hard fans making the noise for their favourites.
Ok, to skating.
Denkova&Staiviski, in last year CD costumes (olive with flowers). To my untrained eye they were excellent. Smooth, with great flow, deep lobes and unision.
Delobel&Schoenfelder, she in red, he in tails. Also very smooth, with, perhaps, even slightly better glide than Bulgarians, but I do not have proper "waltz" feeling from them.
Vitrue&Moir, she in neon pink, he in tails. Really unlucky draw for them. I believe they would have made much better impression on me had they skated at the second warm up group with their main rivals. Right after both D&Ss one cannot help but notice what they are nowhere as good. Shallower pattern, worse unision, worse glide.
HcCurdy&Coreno, she in blue, non-waltz, dress, he in tails. Outclassed in this group. One could almost see them pushing to gain the speed, while for the other teams gliding across the ice looked effortless.
Pechalat&Bourzat, she in blue, non-waltz, straps-across-the-torso dress, he in tails. I liked them much better than V&M (probably because they were not skating right after leaders), good flow, good unision. They did not seem to raise their free leg as high as the other teams do, though. But I am not sure if it is a "deductable".
Faiella&Scali, she in red, he in tails. Good. Smooth, powerful. I think they were closer to D&S than to P&B, but judges gave them only two-points advantage.
Huang&Zheng, she in pink-to-violet dress, he ?, don't remember. Clearly outclassed, but they weren't truly bad.
Hoffman&Elek, she in blue, he in tails. Warm up was rather funny. Usually teams warm up with the crossovers/basic stroking, not-touching, but keeping in proximity of one another. Nora however so clearly outstripped Atttila during this warm up, that I fully expected him to call back after her Very good dance, smooth, confident, with good waltz feeling from Nora. I would have them behind Italians, but I do not really understand the techinique.