Everything about Hicks' skating is so ugly. While we were all mad over the USFS not sending her to Skate America and her not receiving a second GP assignment (yet), I think the international judges made a pretty clear stance here about her skating. She is not ready. She is not competitive even with the jumps. She landed 7 triples and received comparable scores to Gao who landed 5. I would like to the third US ladies spot for Sochi to go to Gao or Czisny / Nagasu / Cesario - whoever has the rotations. I also don't think anything Zawadski did in the past seasons really merits favourable consideration by the USFS.
Lacoste looks much improved and is a serious threat for that second spot for Sochi even though she doesn't have the 3/3 like Daleman or Chartrand. The flip is coming along nicely and her edge jumps are wonderful. Skating conservatively jump-wise but beautifully skating-wise will probably do the trick at Nationals.
Too bad Osmond withdrew. Was looking forward to seeing her skate after a very good showing in the short. Hopefully we can finally erase our worry about her dismal showing at that summer comp where she / popped everything. I see her at around mid top ten in Sochi.
Gao just needs loads and loads of attack and needs to skate like she has nothing to lose (well she doesn't). I think she can deliver at Nationals, but first she needs to convince the USFS with another solid GP showing that she deserves to be backed up.
Suzuki's skating is so beautiful (even if the programs are not special and perhaps even contrived) that I really want her to make the team. Ando has had too many favours from the JPN Fed when it comes to going to the Olympics and honestly I don't think Murakami and Miyahara are ready to contend the way Suzuki is.
Lipnitskaya is still not holding her moves but at least more so than last season. Her programs are better this season. If absolutely clean, I think she will make the Olympics over Tuk and will probably place around mid top ten like Osmond.
I am glad Carroll had Gold slow down for better control the way he had Kostner. Come Nationals and Olympics I think she can be quite spectacular. The programs aren't as bad as they were upon debut and definitely better than last season's. The one thing that Carroll must teach her now is how to compete with nerves of steel - not easy - not even Kwan could pull that off at the Olympics.
Hicks should definitely take a page out of Gold's book and really focus on working with a ballet/dance coach on a regular basis.