How I see it:
I think this will be a typical year at worlds; Sasha will do a good short, but stumble several times in the long, Fumie will have some sloppy sections of her long but will medal after her typical solid short, a Russian will take second and Michelle will win with a dissapointingly conservative long that she's been doing since she was 13 with six triples and no 3-3. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Michelle, she's my favorite skater. I just wish she'd surprise us and challenge herself.
Now I'll get detailed:
1. Michelle Kwan-Although recentley I had a dream that she was injured and 6th after the short, I still think that she'll win. The judges like her, the fans like her, she is exactly where she should be mentally and she said she's been working the 3-3's, but it's probably just hype. I want her to win, and I think she will. She also has more true emotion than any other lady, no fake Sasha Cohen or that dramatic Russian presentation here.
2. Elena Sokolova-NO LONGER POUNDCAKE! Did anyone see European's? Woweee! She pulled it together. Yes the skating was awful, her spirals suck, her spins were slow as molasses, but did you see those jumps??!! Ok yes, she doubled the second 3z, but those two 3-3's! Maybe the second 3 on those combo's were a little questionable, but either way, a very ambitious program executed well! I am so happy for her, she lost about 20 pounds and man has she been training. I think she'll nail it at worlds, maybe with a small error like at Euros, but that presentation mark will go way down to Michelle.
3. Fumie Suguri-she's probably feeling confident after the GPF win as she should. I love watching her skate, she is so fast and powerful with such nice edges. I just think that if Elena hits her jumps, she'll oust Fumie. Fumie will probably not do a 3-3 (although she's done 3z-3t in the past) and in her longs, usually one of her triples is messed up, whether she pops, two-foots or steps out. If Elena makes one or more serious mistakes, or a combination of small errors, Fumie is an easy 2nd. If Michelle messes up, Fumie could pull another upset.
4. Shizuka Arakawa-Man has this girl improved! I really like watching her skate, she's fast, nice and subtle edges, spins have gotten better and those jumps....yea those jumps. She usually hits the 3z-3t and has attempted 2 3-3's in one long. She hasn't had any disasters lately so she should be in good shape. Again, if anyone above her messes up, she'll probably oust them without a problem.
5. Miki Ando-She probably isn't where she needs to be right now politically. Isn't this her first big senior international also? There will be a lot of pressure on her, and I bet she'll land the quad but other easier jumps may go as they have in the past. Even if she skates clean, I don't think she'll be rewarded properly. Her presentation is very good and she manipulates her long limbs nicely.
6. Sasha Cohen-Typical skates for Sasha, no more, no less. Maybe she'll even mess up the short like in the GPF. She'll start off great in the long, miss that 3t (she always does, maybe she shouldn't do 3t) and then she will have trouble regaining her composure, by the time she does, it will be too late. This field is just too strong for her to make mistakes on jumps.
7. Julia Sebastyen-She won Europeans, so she'll be confident and in good politcal standing. Those jumps are great, especially the 3z. She just never does a fully clean long. I expect 4-5 triples, and then she'll pop and step out of the remaining two she planned. If she skates clean, I still don't think they'll move her up that much, maybe to fifthish. I really like her presentation though, she does skate like the typical European woman with the flailing arms and dramatic face and lack of extension (cough Sokolova cough).
8. Elena Liashenko-She looked good at Euros, but a little slow and it wasn't her best. I think she'll do better at Worlds, but again she'll skate similar to the way Sebastyen skates but without the same level of presentation, spins and pop in her jumps.
9. Jenny Kirk-She never really surprises anyone. She skates lacklusterly and never stands up to the pressure. Where is the killer instinct? Also I think that she doesn't have the Senior level presentation yet and the jumps are a little spazzy looking and often cheated. She needs time to develop.
10. Carolina Kostner-Too much has been expected of her from the begining and she hasn't been able to stand up to it yet. For instance, why was she 11th at Worlds last year and 5th at Europeans? She should have won Europeans. She needs time to develop mentally.