Here's a Chicago Tribune article (by Philip Hersh) that discusses Evan Lysacek's prep following his second place showing at Cup of China. Apparently, Lysacek received an edge downgrade for his triple flip but he and coach Franch Carroll could not understand why. Additionally, Carroll has some insight on the national politics of skating:
In the old days -- about two years ago, before skating judges began nitpicking for negatives -- a reigning world champion got some benefit of the doubt. Now, in Carroll's mind, the idea is to create doubt to benefit other skaters in this Olympic season.
"Every country is looking to find flaws in somebody who is a threat," Carroll said. "One judging panel can pick out one thing about a skater and say this is wrong, and that will carry through to the next panel.
"If it's a French caller (the person who validates each element) looking out for (French skater) Brian Joubert, they will find something wrong technically with Evan. It's the same with a Russian caller looking out for (Russian Evgeni) Plushenko.
"That's the way of the world. We think the new scoring system is not corrupt and has dealt with cheating, but cheating will always go on."
I love when people give voice to these things (although, who knows if this is really the reason why Lysacek got downgrades in China?) because sometimes I forget about how political things might be. And that judges are not necessary impartial robots (wait, actually I definitely remember that pretty much every competition..heh).