Thanks so much Doris for the technical explanations!!
Just from a spectator point of view, this was my first time watching all these free dance programs. Just my initial reactions:
Pechalat/Bourzat. As in the SD, they seemed well trained and sharp. I think this program really works for them. I was a little dubious at first--I'm not a big Stones fan--but it really suits P/B. There is a cool funky vibe to it that they carry off very well. It's funny--there is something inherently sexy about P/B as a team--without them having to work for this quality at all or "sell it" the way other teams do. They just naturally have it, and it's an asset in this program. I can't quite imagine any other team skating to the program (always a good sign that it's working). Technically it seemed more difficult than either B/S or W/P and better skated, except for the twizzles (although Doris I see what you mean about it being "open" whereas D/W's FD in particular had a "closed" feel to it with a lot of waltz holds). My feeling is this FD will not be enough to overtake V/M or D/W, but we'll see I guess.
Bobrova/Soloviev. Surprisingly, I really liked this FD! I've never enjoyed any of B/S's programs before, so that is saying something. It's just sort of interesting and intense, especially the first two-thirds of it. The last section, which I think is to Tosca, felt a lot more typical and less intriguing. I thought they skated it quite well and I could see the improvement everyone's talking about in this FD as opposed to their SD. I still did notice some posture problems and bent-at-the-waist skating (this time more from Oleg than Ekaterina), and I still want Ekaterina's shoulders to be less rounded. However nonetheless I did enjoy this program and thought they deserved silver.
Weaver/Poje. This program is very attractive, and yet somehow it didn't quite work for me. It felt like something was missing. The statue-coming-to-life theme isn't very original or well-sustained throughout the program. Kaitlyn and Andrew delivered it fairly well but I felt a little intensity missing. I also felt like they were skating a little "up," not down in their knees and really carving into the ice. I've had that impression before with W/P and it may simply be due to their height and long lines. The program just feels a bit lackluster after the passionate emotion of "Je Suis Malade."
Chock/Bates. Well I must disagree with some others about this program. I thought it was pretty, but that was all. I just didn't enjoy it as much as others have. Honestly I feel Dr. Zhivago is very hard music to skate to. The romance in the film is truly epic in quality and very few skaters can really carry this off. Chock/Bates didn't do it for me. Also, the program seemed a little bit easy in terms of the footwork--I felt like there was a lot of side-by-side skating, a lot of crossovers. But this is just a spectator's initial impression, and I may be wrong about it.