34. Mariah Bell USA
2016 Skate America free skate
It was just two months after Mariah Bell switched coaches. It was absolutely the biggest surprise of the very first Grand Prix event of the season. And it was Bell's free skate, and subsequent silver medal finish, that made her realize that she belonged among the best in the world.
And in a lot of ways, it was not that big of a surprise. After all, Bell showed early in the season that she was season-ready. In the three competitions she had before Skate America (a domestic event and two Challengers), she showed exactly the promise and the consistency that gave her the momentum that she carried to this event.
It set her up well for the rest of her season. But it also added a different kind of pressure that she may not have expected to have so soon. And after an uneven skate at her next competition, she was able to draw on this experience to claw her way to a spot on the World team. This is just the beginning for Mariah Bell.