I have a feeling this will not be Michelle's event because she is a skater who builds momentum throughout the season.
As for her not performing well at the cheesefests. I do believe she takes these events easy because she would rather save her best for other events. Such as Nationals and Worlds. I also think she has already won her share of cheesefests over past years.
I think this will be Sasha's event as it is her first event of the season and she usually starts out on fire. Also she is only skating one program which may or may not contribute to her success at these events I do believe Shizuka could pull an upset afterall she is the reigning world champion and running high on momentum. However by no means is Michelle Kwan out of the race. She has kept a lower profile this Summer. I haven't seen photos of her attending movie premieres or Disney Theme Park openings. I don't know if she is taking courses or not at UCLA which usually takes time out of her summer training. I have a feeling if Kwan has spent the summer training training it may have a positive effect on her performances during the early season.