Like subtlety in ice dancing
I'm no fan of Lysacek. In fact, I don't like him at all but...
Evan competed because gala organizers can invite whomever they want, and they invited him. And they invited him because he's the reigning Olympic champion and the first US men's champion in the Olympics since Brian Boitano back in the stone ages.
Lysacek is a worse skater than Jeremy Abbott and Jason Brown? What? They're all skaters competing in skating. Lysacek has won a hell of a lot more. Unless you think there is corruption, unfair judging or rules (in which case I'm going to need a lot of proof), Lysacek is the better skater. Jason Brown isn't even in the same hemisphere as Evan in terms of achievement.
What's more accurate to say would be: Jeremy Abbott and Jason Brown have better basic skating skills than Evan Lysacek. Jason Brown can potentially have a better skating career than Evan.