Yes, Maé-Bérénice Meité is a performer and a crowds' favourite, just like Gracie Gold, this seems to make sense from an organiser's viewpoint who knows that none on the replacement list is very likely to medal. I don't know if federations have an informal say. And this is still hypothetical, I only agree in that it's not as unlikely as if all skaters above her on the list had necessarily to get a spot before her.She just moved up to nr. #12, Schild and Mazzara was picked for host pick for France so Schild got crossed out of the list.
With possible WD of Kihira at SCI (all very uncertain because of her injury), Gracie would most likely move up to nr. 11, and maybe even 10 depending on who will replace Kihira and if Kihira will be be crossed out of the list entirely.
For those saying that it´s unlikely that Gracie will be picked based on that she will be far down the list and hasn´t showed any good results recently, I just want to point at that doesn´t have to mean anything and it´s up to the host who they pick from the top 10 replacement list.
Meite got picked for SCI despite being nr. 10 on the list and recently recovering from injury. Her last showing was at Nationals in December last year scoring 160 points and before that GP France last season, with a score of 175 points. Actually it´s very similar to Gracie last season, with Gracies last showing at Nationals (scoring 173) and GP SA with 174 points.
Not only that though, Gracie is the oldest women to land a 3Lz-3T and that is something that is appealing to the audience.
I agree the most important thing is what Gracie wants to do and what she feels ready for. If she just want to go to Nationals at this stage, it´s fine, but i´m hoping we will see her at some international competition this season.