Today I was watching a recording of Russia's skating show the Ice Age, in which a professional skater is paired up with a non-skater for "ice dance" performances. Tatiana Tarasova, who was on the judging panel, has given comments that really made me realize that she corrupts the skaters she works with.
She would often complain about the "incompeleteness of moves" such as lifts (or extended legs or arms) as having a deleterious effect on the program because lifts that were too short didn't create a rapturous interpretation of the music and therefore betrayed it. This problem bothered her more than falls.
Now let me tell you, Tarasova's insistence on completeness and lengthy execution of choreographical elements is responsible for ruining the careers of Sasha Cohen and Johnny Weir.
Once Sasha Cohen got it into her head that it was important to have lengthy, intricately executed spins and spirals as well as other "beautiful" moves that perfectly matched the music, she decided to pursue this "beauty" to the point of neglecting her jumps.
Had she ditched this crazy "beauty" obsession of Tarasova's and focused on her jumps to the exclusion of choreographical completeness, she would have become World Champion and maybe even Olympic Gold Medalist.
The other victim of the Tarasova curse was Johnny Weir, whose admiration of the Russian style of "complete, extended, elegant moves that express the music" made him feel too contented with himself to aggressively pursue the quad and to focus on his jumping technique.
Last but not least, Mao Asada has recently lost some of her jumping technique due to choreographical finesse acquired from working with Tarasova. If Tarasova can undermine such a talented skater like Asada, she certainly has the power to ruin less technically proficient skaters such as Sasha Cohen and Johnny Weir.
In conclusion, I'd like to point out that I am not against great choreography but I believe that it was only an advantage under the 6.0 system. Under COP, presenting an elegant and choreographically impressive program and sacrificing jump power to do it is a recipe for disaster and a sure way to stay off the podium.
Both Johnny and Sasha could have relied on their choreo and beautiful moves to receive a high 2nd mark in the 6.0 era, but under COP their artistic accomplishments won't matter unless they are jumps are already perfect.
Of course, the problem is that both Sasha and Johnny preferred to focus on the artistic versus the technical and incurred the wrath of their federations who believed these two to be capable of getting higher COP scores if they focused more on the technical aspect of skating.
Johnny has realized this already and cut back on choreography to focus on executing his jumps, except for the quad which he hasn't gotten to due to years of obsession with "beautiful skating."
BTW, I also like Tiara's thoughts on this.