Thankfully, American Jeremy Abbott came to the short program at Trophee Eric Bompard ready to deliver. He delivered a clean program, although with no quad, to take the lead with 81.15 points. I really enjoyed his program on its' second outing, but I think the costume makes him look awkward at times.
Takahito Mura of Japan is a surprise second after landing a quad toe-triple toe combination with a hand down in-between the jumps, a triple Axel, and triple Lutz. If Mura holds on to a medal here, he would become the sixth different Japanese man this year to win a medal in the Grand Prix series. He has skating skills to die for, but his Malaguena is generic compared to some of the programs he had previously.
Brian Joubert skated into third place at home with a much more solid effort than Cup of China, where he was sick and withdrew after the short program. He landed a clean quad toe-double toe, but stepped out of his triple Axel.
Jorik Hendrickx of Belgium is a surprise fourth place. He had a solid attempt at the triple Axel, which is not yet one of his consistent jumps, but also had to step out of it. He has great footwork sequences in each of his programs and a really solid foundation to his skating.
Florent Amodio and Tomas Verner are in seventh and ninth place. Amodio is lucky to not be in the last place position after falling on both his quad Salchow and triple Axel, and only completing a double Lutz which was intended to be his combination. Verner underrotated and fell on his quad toe, popped his Axel to a single (an absolute point killer), and then had trouble on his combination.
Amodio, with a win here, would have had a decent shot at qualifying for the Grand Prix Final.