FSUniverse has pointed me to this OC Register article about Caroline Zhang. It's very flattering to Zhang. I think it goes a bit over the top, but I'm glad to see that it appears there is some confidence with Zhang, especially since her Four Continents performance, where she came in fourth. However, it seems the chorus of those who thought that the judging at the U.S. championships was wonky is growing louder:
Zhang's rise to international prominence, however, has not been without missteps, pain, controversy and sacrifice. She will not compete in next month's ISU World Championships at Staples Center after finishing third at the recent U.S. championships. Zhang's scores and exclusion from the U.S. worlds roster have touched off controversies within American skating, calling into question how she is judged at U.S. competitions and U.S. Figure Skating's selection process.
"It's been said that she often gets better marks with overseas judges than she does here," said John Nicks, a coach on the past 12 U.S. Olympic teams.
"I really don't understand why (U.S. judges) give her the marks they do," Nam said.
I wasn't that impressed with Zhang's international performances in the Grand Prix events, and although she was better at nationals, she wasn't overwhelmingly better than the other ladies who medaled (to me, anyway). And she scored about 15 points more at U.S. Nationals than she did at Trophee Eric Bompard (where she came in third), and about the same at nationals as at Four Continents, so the argument that she gets scored better by international judges does not seem to hold water. It sounds like Four Continents was a breakthrough for her, hopefully. I think it's a bit unfounded to think there is some sort of conspiracy against Zhang by U.S. judges; she has grace and beauty, and is one of the few American ladies to pull off the triple/triple recently. I am fairly certain that (if she picks up her speed) she is the type of skater that judges love to reward.