Former Canadian competitor Fedor Andreev, the son of choreographer Marina Zoueva, was unable to compete for Azerbaijan because he was unable to complete his paperwork in time.
Leading the charge in the short program was 2006 Olympic men's silver medalist Stéphane Lambiel of Switzerland, who scored 77.45 points while skating to Giacomo Rossini's "William Tell Overture." Lambiel, who has been skating professionally for the last year, is ranked 16th in the icenetwork.com world rankings.
Lambiel fell on the first jump in his planned quadruple toe-triple toe combination, but showed strong spins and footwork. He landed a double Axel and triple flip.
"I felt good, I was prepared, and I was ready to attack," Lambiel said. "It was a shame about the quad toe because it was good in practice."
He was followed by the Czech Republic's Michal Brezina, who won the Nebelhorn Trophy in 2007 and is ranked 17th in the world rankings. Brezina, who trains in Oberstdorf, skated a crowd-pleasing routine to "Puttin' on The Ritz," scoring 73.23 points. He put a hand down on his opening triple Axel but otherwise skated well, landing a triple Lutz and a triple flip-triple toe combination.
"I had hoped to skate clean, but I was maybe too much inside in the rotation of the triple Axel," Brezina said. "We only changed the program on Wednesday to take out the quad Salchow and put in the triple Lutz, but I'll do the quad in the long."
"It would be cool to beat Stephane," he added, "but I'm happy with where I am now. It could have been better, but it was my first time competing this program."
Brezina did beat Lambiel technically, scoring 39.88 in his element score to 38.10 for Lambiel.
American skater Ryan Bradley used "Dark Eyes" for his short program, scoring 68.18 points to place third in the segment. Bradley's opening quad toe-triple toe combination was the highest scoring element in the men's short, gaining 14.60 points.