And some remarks in the comments section are spot on - the gold medal is going to be determined by applause meter. That's why Meryl/Charlie are hitting the show trick/show posing so hard. Derek Hough - the King of trick/pose.
This guy joins their line-up:
He's a world champion cabaret dancer.
wiki describes cabaret dancing as:
It's a solo couple dance where the distinguishing factor is all the lifts and spins that the man does while holding the woman in the air.
IOW - what they're already doing. Not actual rhythm based dancing. Nothing that depends upon an edge. Adagio acrobatics. The guy is a stable base (stolid, not dancing) the woman is two dimensional in space.
That's them all over.
All of this this seems about right. Derek Hough is using a Davis White trick for himself and Kelli Pickler, and Kelli Pickler isn't even a dancer on the floor. She's a singer.
Davis White tricks are not only not about actually skating or using your edges in and out, but they're also not necessarily Olympic calibre or even real professional show dance calibre. They can be done by a very physically fit, non-pro youngish person.
It's going to be a program full of a lot of WTF and bracketing a two second highlight where they pretty much grab the audience with both fists and demand applause. Set up, set up, set up - TRICK!!!! POSE! Then somewhere in there they'll throw in a couple of phrases of skating and throw their arms open to the audience so the audience can applaud the awesome.
Element wise, again, don't look too closely to how they get into it or how they get out of it or how they evolve/transition during it. Just look at the highlight moment. Let's see if getting into it, getting out of it involves more actual skating, less two-footing, less all four hands/arms clutching and unsupported edgework, more running edges out, or if they're just looking for new shapes and angles, but getting in and out the same way. Let's see if they can manage their bodies in space without being bracketed near the pelvis coming, going and during.
It seems to me they're going all in on what they do best. It's the Olympics and they really want that gold. If the ISU has let Tessa and Scott know they want more traditional romantic stuff from them, I wonder if the ISU has told Meryl Charlie that the game is up so they need new shapes. Don't do that prow of the ship thing on his thigh anymore, don't do that split legged rotational. Do something with the exact same basic mechanics - i.e., non-skating entrance with all hands on deck and non-skating exit, but alter the visual a little. We'll think it's brand new.
I'm betting now that there will be at least one moment in Davis White's free dance where they make a big show of doing something SLOWLY. It won't matter where Charlie's feet are, how they got in, how they get out - it will be some type of arial where the final transition and then the pose will be SLOW - but SLOW with an exclamation point. Like what fabulous control! How amazing! I think only Tony Dovolini and his winning All-Stars partner Melissa Rycroft would come near it.
It's going to be that type of game. I'm going to be watching the feet.