I highly doubt someone can overtake both Caro and Mao. One might bomb, but both bomb, and bomb badly enough to have someone else sneak in for silver is just impossible.
Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy
The way I see it is, Caro is jockeying Joannie's position this time around. Both are silver medalists at the preceding World. Caro is also former WC, seen as a much better skater than Joannie. They will make sure she's on the podium. Her SP score will be out of this world and keep the rest of them out of touch. Just like Joannie hitting 72 or something for a 3x2 and 3F. In the LP, even with 4 triples, I don't see her scoring anything less than 130.
Ashley with 3x3, will be a few points behind Caro in the SP. With 3x3 in the LP, might be 130+. She would have to skate 2 incredible programs back to back to catch a really flawed Caro. Again, they might slap her with a downgrade or two to make sure in the case when Caro/Mao aren't clean, she couldn't catch them. Just like Flatt back in the day.
Same with Gracie. She could be jockeying Mirai's position. Skate perfectly in both phases and still come in 4th.
There are a lot of good will for the top 3. Their TES are among the top. Their PCS will rise considerably next year. I just don't see anyone else getting a silver.