This is the only competition segment that I will be able to watch live today, so here are my quick thoughts about the skating and results.
Tretiakov (10th)- I remember more-or-less enjoying him last season, but he started off the day with jumps that looked like they were all just slightly under-rotated and finished the rotation on his toe pick. Maybe I'm wrong, though. Anyways, the program was just blah and I found his skating to be a bit clunky.
Menshov (7th)- His first Grand Prix at 27 years old, and he will be 28 by the time the season is over. Good for him! His triple Axel has very little preparation but it was gorgeous and the quad toe loop in combination was also effortless. Too bad about the doubled loop, but the whole first half looked slightly rushed to me. What's the deal with him actually having some nice choreography rather than relying on flashy arm movements? More on that later.. but I enjoyed him.
Kovalevski (11th)- Still has problems with the triple Axel. The triple toe on the latter half of his combo wasn't all the way around so he came down on two feet and stepped out. I found the music to be extremely weird, but I liked the program itself-- particularly the footwork and some of the transitional choreography in the second half.
Machida (12th)- What a mess here. The first six elements (yes, six out of seven) all had their issues. Triple Axel with a fall right in front of the judges, a triple flip/triple toe loop where the second jump came down awkwardly after 2 1/2 rotations, the triple Lutz had a hand down, camel positions throughout his spins that were poor at best, and all spins traveled a bit. He ended the program with the footwork, which was good, but the rest was just not very good. I much prefer his free skate.
Hanyu (6th)- All of the jump elements were completed, but the flip took off on the outside edge. I'm still a bit bothered by the looseness in his body throughout the stroking and non-element choreography (personal preference I suppose), but it works well for the spins. All three spin elements aside from the last sit/change/sit were well-centered. This program obviously didn't have the impact that it did at NHK, but I still liked it. Now, about that free skate of his...
Fernandez (8th)- Right into character, as always. Axel was done but not as perfect as it usually is (and such little step up into it makes it even more impressive). Flip out of steps was rushed and he leaned and had to step out. Spins all on the slow side and if there's one position I hate more than anything, it's not the Emanuel butt in the air spin. It's the slightly bent back cross-foot spin that looks like the skater can't go down into a sit spin yet. I hate it! Footwork is a lot of fun and has a lot of stopping for choreography, and I think that's the way to mask his lack of difficulty compared to the top men. The stop and go made it slow-ish, too. Morozov looked thrilled with this-- I know Javier was injured after Skate Canada so maybe they are both happy he got through it pretty well.
Gachinski (4th)- Blah. I'm trying to like him, but I really do have strong opinions about his skating for some reason. A LOT of Mishin's students seem to try to be emulating Plushenko's total command of the ice and some of his other movements (hand and arm flair on jump landings), but it's a completely different effect when you have someone like Artur trying it all while not really making eye contact with anything but the ice surface. It just looks forced rather than him really having that intensity, if that makes sense. His combo spin had a layback position at the end that was only one rotation, so that part shouldn't get credit. I don't remember if he had another upright position earlier in the spin. He landed some nice jumps, but I'm still not impressed. I guess the judges were, with a 6.89 for skating skills, a 6.75 for choreography, and a 6.71 for interpretation. Oh well. Much prefer Menshov.
Preaubert (5th)- Next to no notes for him. The song in the first half will probably drive me absolutely insane by the end of the year, but he's seriously so consistent with his jumps. The only real issue in the program was his final flying upright spin. First, I hate that this is even an option. The only skaters who use it are the ones that know they can't achieve a good camel and back camel position. Anyways, his spin traveled wildly and the positions weren't great.
Contesti (9th)- I'll probably also get tired of his hamming it up along the barriers before the program starts. But that's his personality. Doubled the Lutz in the combo, triple flip had a really short run-out and he stepped out but tried to cover it with choreography. The footwork moved slowly and the spins are on the average side in both speed and positions. I like Samuel, but his skating only shines with the perfect vehicle (2009 programs, for example). I don't think this program will ever achieve much.
Verner (3rd)- Another short set of notes, but that's probably because I actually liked his program. He goes slowww into his triple Axel, but it seems to be working. He never lets go of the character throughout the program, and while I think he can take that extra step and include more transitions and difficulty (especially into the first half), this was enjoyable. I thought his components marks were pretty spot on.
Abbott (2nd)- I've already written enough about my dislike for this program, but seriously if he'd change the costume (that makes him look fat, for real), remove some of the hand movements in the beginning, and loosen up a bit, I might find myself really enjoying it. Jumps were all on today with nice landing positions, and his sit/change/sit definitely had the required revolutions this time around. But just when you think it's going to be great, his flying upright (again, hate them) had ugly positions and he was fighting to get the revolutions at the end so much that he came to a complete stop. Bleh. I'm surprised he bested Verner by 2 points on the TES AND on the choreography/interpretation components.
Chan (1st)-Quad toe/triple toe was easy. Geez. Triple Axel with another fall-- what's up with that this year? Best spins of the competition by a mile- he has a strong camel position which apparently is so rare these days in mens skating. Camel/change/camel did, however, have a weird exit where he seemed to get a little stuck on his toe pick. It didn't really affect anything, though. Not the flashiness I would expect from him, but I knew it would go into first. Everything besides the fall on the Axel was honestly much better than everyone else. I'm glad to see this panel agreed with me that his interpretation isn't as strong as his choreography (even if they had it just 0.14 lower).