As stated waaaay back, there is only two real candidates for the gold: Kobrin and Cabassi.
Kobrin is the one I believe who will take the gold. His performance of the Rachmaninoff was electrifying. Musical, dashing, and completely in step with the orchestra. This is was playing with passion and command. The only thing that could have been more fiery would have been if we'd had the chance to hear Beus' concerti. But it's all Kobrin now. He has developed quite a following at the Cliburn and among web listeners. He is a polished artist and likely to prove an interesting figure on the international music scene.
Huang looks like a solid lead for 2nd. Very musical and very reliable performer. She was one of the ones I didn't think the jury would pick. I'm so glad they did advance her. Just gorgeous playing.
Sa Chen or Cabassi for 3rd. Cabassi would be my pick for no. 2 slot, but he has just not had the polish of Huang in the last performances, but who knows (I'm going to cautiously hold out hope he'll place 2nd, even tho I don't think it will tip that way). Chen has impressed me with her keen musical sensibilities and tireless ability to come back after falls that would have knocked out a lesser pianist (say, Plano). Really like her playing alot.
We'll see what others in the blogosphere are predicting and report back. If you have read the in-house commentary by Tait, you should today if only to see how one of his readers bites back. Ouch.
Plano is done. His Rachmaninoff concerto was just never got off the ground, the few flubs were mere trifle, but he never seemed to gel with the orchestra, and just took the tempi too damn sloooowww. Grinding along, really. I'm suprised at how weak a pianist he has turned out to be.