Stepanova/Bukin ran away with this portion of the event, scoring nearly seven points ahead of the next team. They had an excellent program, but her posture can be distracting at times. That's really the only critique I have of them, and it seems like they were the only team to hit all of their levels.
Papadakis/Cizeron of France skated a solid first half to the blues, but I found the second half to Dirty Boogie a little too frantic and sloppy. He is the stronger of the two by far, and I wish she found something different to do to her hair. By the way, their twizzle section was absolutely gorgeous and precise-- worthy of +3's. Still about five points below their seasons best. After seeing the protocols, they got extremely low scores on their blues pattern, missing all key points on the first and two of the three on the second. Twizzles only got +2's and one +3. Still think they were +3-worthy.
Russians Yanovskaya/Mozgov are in a surprising third. I thought they had a solid pattern dance in terms of precision, but it looked a little too deliberate and cautious rather than being confident in it. They really fought through the twizzles.
Aldridge/Eaton of the United States are fourth after a somewhat sloppy and rushed performance. She had a little trouble on the exit of the final twizzle, and they got a bit close to the boards throughout the blues. This team also had trouble with their key points, losing out of several points on their first pattern.
Kosigina/Moroshkin sit in fifth but get special mention of channeling Anissina/Peizerat from the mid-90's in terms of hairstyle. Yes, her's is every bit as bright as Marina's.