Who's In the Grand Prix Final – PAIRS
So, I've got time to waste (aka – I don't want to wash dishes yet) and this has been on my mind somewhat after today's Bompard competition.
How common is it for competitiors to see each other so consistently? You've got S/S, M/T and D/D at the same competitions; P/T and K/S at the same competitions; S/Z, Z/Z and V/M (Ukr) at the same competitions. It seems wierd to me. I get that the top three don't see each other (ditto next three), but it does seem odd how it worked out. It seems primed for a major cluster of scores in the standings as well. So who makes the final?
I think Kavaguti/Smirnov and Shen/Zhao are the most likely (though, frankly, I would've included Savchenko/Szolkowy before today). Both are likely to win both competitions (tempting fate here, I know) and get the top: 30 points each.
Then it gets tricky. If the aforementioned happens, it'll likely be P/T and Z/Z coming in second (Z/Z really do own the second place spot, don't they? Second at the Grand Prix Final three of the past four seasons. Second at worlds 3 of the last 4 times. Second at the last Nationals they competed in. Second at the Olympics). So they get 26 points. It's unlikely that V/M beat Z/Z at either competition, but it wouldn't be shocking to see them lose to M/B or D/B.
Skate Canada is what throws a major wrench into matters. While M/T won TEB on both marks, it's worth mentioning that D/D's program has a higher base value and that's likely true of S/S if they were to do the program they planned (whereas I think M/T maxed out right out the gate). Now, if M/T is either first or second, it doesn't matter, they get 30 or 28 points and jump into the GPF. But lets say they get third, with S/S winning, D/D in second (which seems eminently reasonably). Then we have five teams coming in with 26 points. M/T and S/S make the finals based on the first place and TEB and (hypothetical) SC respectively, and then it becomes all about the scores. If D/D win SC (about as unlikely as them beating S/S), again, they get 28 points overall, but I wouldn't bet on that occuring.
So, in short.....
30 points: Kavaguti/Smirnov; Shen and Zhao
28 points: None
26 points: Pang/Tong; Savchenko/Szolkowy; Murkhtova/Trankov; Zhang/Zhang; Dube Davison (S/S and M/T make it to GPF based on first tiebreaker, Pang/Tong and Zhang/Zhang make it due to second), D/D become the first alternates
Anyone else want to try? Or just sit back and see how I wrong I am in the end.