Through two events, 14 pairs have competed, and so far no serious contenders have been eliminated, though team now contending came very close. So far, the top four have been:
1. Tatiana Volosozhar & Maxim Trankov-Will probably find Japan even easier to win.
2. Kirsten Moore-Towers & Dylan Moscovitch-Need to win Russia to seal it, where they don't seem *that* likely to beat Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy. Should get in with silver, for which they'll have to beat Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov, and possibly Ksenia Stolbova & Fedor Klimov, though they'd be unlucky to lose to both, and even with bronze their chances are good, since the top teams tend to collect multiple golds in pairs.
3. Ksenia Stolbova & Fedor Klimov-Also need to win Russia to seal it, and they probably will be out if they don't get at least silver, which they're not favored for, but it 's a possibility.
4. Caydee Denney & John Coughlin-Would probably have to win in France, where between Qing Pang & Jian Tong, Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford, Bazarova & Larionov, they might need at least a little help to even win silver.
1. Stefania Berton & Ondrej Hotarek-Both events completed, were 5th at Skate America. It is not unknown for 1st and 5th to get skaters to the Grand Prix Finale(2nd and 4th is more common, but that's simply because it happens more often; 5th and 1st actually beats that), but they're going to need a lot of luck.
2. Wenjing Sui & Cong Han-Need to win in Japan to seal it, where they're unlikely to beat Volosozhar & Trankov. They'll be favored to win silver over the other pairs there, though, and that would probably be enough.
3. Meagan Duhamel & Eric Radford-Need to win France to seal it, where it'll be a challenge to beat Pang & Tong and Bazarova & Larionov, but it's very doable. They beat at least one of them and it should be silver and as the chips fall.
4. Paige Lawrence & Rudi Swiegers-Would probably have to win in Japan, where even silver isn't likely.
Out of contention, but still possible factor:
Marissa Castelli & Simon Shnapir-6th at Skate America, probably not much influence in Japan but not impossible
Contenders yet to compete:
Aliona Savchenko & Robin Szolkowy
Qing Pang & Jian Tong
Vera Bazarova & Yuri Larionov
Cheng Peng & Hao Zheng
Alex Scimeca & Chris Knierim