Get ready, because this Grand Prix Final lineup for the pairs has the potential to be an incredible showstopper. Six pairs, all with eyes set on the Olympic podium - and we don't even have Vanessa James/Morgan Cipres here, who were first alternates for the Final and had one of the most difficult paths on the Grand Prix. But this could very well serve as a preview for the pairs' event in PyeongChang come February.
Grand Prix Final predictions
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GOLD Aliona Savchenko/Bruno Massot GER - There's something about the (lack of) triple axel that makes this pick the most likely, but perhaps by just a hair. Savchenko/Massot seemed to have a weight lifted off their programs after taking out the axel and bringing back the throw flip. They had a terrific free skate Skate America and became the second pair this season to score over 150. Massot does come in nursing a sore back that he had at Skate America, but it's a matter of them getting all of their side-by-sides down. And their chances of hitting their solo jumps are just a tad greater than Sui/Han.
SILVER Wenjing Sui/Cong Han CHN - Speaking of which, Sui/Han is the other pair to have accomplished the 150+ FS this season. They have looked fantastic so far this season, though their recent showing at Shanghai Trophy left a bit to be desired on their side-by-side jumps. Their biggest liability is Sui's solo triple salchow. But if they hit and Savchenko/Massot hit, it is going to be incredibly close - but if that happens, Sui/Han may have the advantage with the quad twist in the free skate.
BRONZE Meagan Duhamel/Eric Radford CAN - The two-time World champions have had a solid season, but they have yet to put down two clean programs in one competition. They've proven that they have what it takes to be consistent again. And they have the technical prowess to challenge for the gold if they hit two clean programs in Nagoya this week. The key for them will be their side-by-side lutzes, which they do in both programs but have been on and off so far this season.
4. Evgenia Tarasova/Vladimir Morozov RUS - Undefeated this season so far, Tarasova/Morozov have been steady and perhaps flying a bit under the radar relative to the other top pairs. They only faced one of their fellow qualifiers during the Grand Prix (Stolbova/Klimov at Rostelecom), so it will be interesting to see how they stack up against the very top pairs here at the Final.
5. Ksenia Stolbova/Fedor Klimov RUS - We know they have the intensity, and the quality of their programs somewhat make up for their relative weakness in some of the big tricks. But Stolbova/Klimov have been battling fluke mistakes in competition over the past few seasons, and you wonder if they are fighting nerves every time they step on the ice now. We've seen glimpses of their past glory this season, and they do have podium potential if they can skate to their potential.
6. Xiaoyu Yu/Hao Zhang CHN - On the heels of a career-best free skate at Skate America, Yu/Zhang are the underdogs here this week among these incredible pairs. They don't have the same scoring potential as everyone else, but two clean programs could do them a lot of good and could sneak them into a podium spot if others make mistakes.