So let’s get right to it. The U.S. options for watching 2011 Skate America are as follows:
On Ice Network.com (subscription required):
Friday, Oct. 21
10:05 p.m.: Men's short program
11:45 p.m.: Short dance
Saturday, Oct. 22
2:35 p.m.: Men's free skate (first group ONLY)
4:30 p.m.: Free dance (first group ONLY)
10:00 p.m.: Pairs short program
11:25 p.m.: Ladies short program
Sunday, Oct. 23
4:05 p.m.: Pairs free skate
5:45 p.m.: Ladies free skate
Why “first group ONLY” on the Men’s FS and the FD? Because NBC is carrying both final groups LIVE on Saturday from 3-6PM Eastern Time. (And are probably among the most disappointed that Evan Lysacek won’t be making an appearance.)
On Universal Sports (available over-the-air or via dish/satellite, depending on where you live):
Sunday, Oct. 23
1:30 p.m.: Pairs & Ladies short programs (from Saturday)
4:30 p.m.: Pairs & Ladies free skates (LIVE; looks like final group of pairs only if they start at 4:05)
As for previews, I’m going a slightly different route this year… no medals predictions (I’ve never been particularly good w/them anyway), but hopefully some worthwhile info to get you ready to watch:
Replacements from original lineup: Peter Liebers (GER) is out; Denis Ten (KAZ) replaces him. Evan Lysacek (USA) is out; Douglas Razzano (USA) replaces him.
Top 5 guess in alphabetical order: Florent Amodio, Michal Brezina, Richard Dornbush, Takahiko Kozuka, Armin Mahbanoozadeh
Dark Horses: Samuel Contesti & Kevin van der Perren
Has a quad, or quads: VDP, Brezina (2 of them), Kozuka
Has a quad maybe: Amodio, Dornbush, Razzano (though I read he’s leaving it out this weekend)
Senior GP Debut: Razzano, Dornbush
Favorite: probably Kozuka, though I think I’d make him and Brezina co-faves
Other: van der Perren is the oldest in the field at age 29… this is his fourth Sk8AM appearance (best finish was 4th several years back).
Replacements from original lineup: Laura Lepisto (FIN) is out; Viktoria Helgesson (SWE) replaces her. Joelle Forte is the USA’s TBD skater.
Top 5 guess in alphabetical order: Alissa Czisny, Joshi Helgesson, Haruka Imai, Carolina Kostner, Ksenia Makarova
Dark Horses: Elene Gedvanishvili, or either Helgesson sis
Who might have a 3/3 (triple/triple): Czisny, Kostner, Makarova
Senior GP Debut: Forte
Favorite: Probably Kostner, though again I see co-faves in Czisny and Kostner.
Other…: Forte, at age 25, is also the oldest competitor among the ladies at Sk8AM.
Replacements from original lineup: None…Denney/Coughlin is the USA’s TBD.
Top 4 guess in alphabetical order: Bazarova/Larionov, Denney/Coughlin, Savchekno/Szolkowy, Zhang/Zhang
Dark Horse: Moore-Towers/Moscovitch
Senior GP Debut: Denney/Coughlin and Marley/Brubaker
Other…: It’s the Zhangs first international competitive appearance since Worlds 2010 (where they finished 5th). They were out all of last year due to a broken finger and other injuries on Hao Zhang’s part.
Replacements from original lineup: Hoffmann/Zavozin (HUN) is out, as is Monko/Khaliavin (RUS)… Paul/Islam (CAN) and Tobias/Stagniunas (LIU) replace them. Cannuscio/Lorello and Hubbell/Donohue are the USA TBD’s.
Top 4 guess in alphabetical order: Asher/Hill (wild guess), Davis/White, Hubbell/Donohue, Pechalat/Bourzat
Dark Horse: no idea
Senior GP Debut: Hubbell/Donohue, Tobias/Stagniunas
Other…: Davis/White have scrapped their La Strada FD in favor of Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (which they first used for an Original Dance all the way back in the 2002-3 season)