In ice dance the Grand Prix final is the first event of the season where the greatest teams fight against each other.
Davis/White and Virtue/Moir will compete together for the first time since World team Trophy 2012. These two couples have dominated the ice dance's scene for he last three years and probably will be those who will challenge for an Olympic gold next season.
Virtue/Moir have won anything in their skating career except the Grand Prix Final title. The two are usually less technically consistent than direct rivals Davis/White at the beginning of the season and had struggled with injuries few times so that the gold at final has been won by the US skaters for three consecutive years.
For what we saw in this fall season, this result could happen again this year, as the Canadians have two amazing programs (maybe more artistically convincing than Davis/White's) but they have been struggling with both getting lower levels in the Polka and step sequences (they never got a level 4 for a Polka).
So technically Davis/White should be superior, though they have had some struggles as well. Anyway they own the best score of the season of both segments and are in the way of their 14th consecutive grand prix win.
The third spot of the podium is quite open to any other team qualified for the final.
Pechalat/Bourzat seem to be the closest to that result and actually they are trying to reduce the gap between them and the two elite couples. They have had brilliant results this season so far, even if it looked like they weren't satisfied with their scores, they have improved themselves a lot with difficult programs.
All the other European teams attending the final improved from last year, but maybe the biggest step forward has been made by Russian Bobrova/Soloviev, who, after a good silver medal at European Championships, performed unimpressive programs at Worlds. They changed coach and style giving themselves a new freshness.
In the NHK Trophy dance preview, I pointed out how terrible Ilinykh/Katsalapov's free dance was. I hoped I would have changed my mind after that competition but that didn't happen, even because Elena was sick and didn't interpret the music at all. Nevertheless I have to admit that the music choice is the only weakness they have: their technical abilities are amazing they have such difficult transitions in their programs and they are definitively outstanding athletes.
Lastly, Cappellini/Lanotte were in anyone's eyes when they almost beated Virtue/Moir at Skate Canada's short dance. Under the guidance of Igor Shpilban, they have made a qualitative leap and despite some rough mistakes (as the twizzles at Trophee Eric Bompard where Luca fell) they could be competitive for a European medal.
Gold: Davis/White (USA)
Silver: Virtue/Moir (CAN)
Bronze: Pechalat/Bourzat (FRA)