If, for example, Asada attempts 8 triples and falters on 2 of them, that would still give her 6 successful triples. Few of her competitors would do more. And of those who do land 7 triples cleanly, the quality of Asada's skating might be superior enough to garner higher PCS. Depends who outjumps her and what else they do and how well. E.g., with 2 jump mistakes and only 4 clean triples she was able to win silver in Vancouver.
Title of this thread seems so SERIOUS
Unfortunately, jumping mistakes do influence PCS--Interpretation will be lower if the program isn't skated how it was meant to be. A difficult program can bring more rewards, but also more risk, because it gives the judges leeway to be extremely picky. In Vancouver, Asada's main (some might even say only) rival was Kim. At Worlds, though, more than one lady can knock Asada right off the podium if she isn't clean--Kostner, Kim, Wagner (2012 4CC, anyone?), and maybe even a squeaky Tuktamysheva. It's better, IMO, to have six or seven triples one can land consistently. And we all know the triple axel, Asada's biggest weapon, has given her grief in the past.
On one hand I was a little let down by Wagner's performance (thought she could have done better - much better), but on the other I'm thrilled that FINALLY we have that 3rd spot back - and just in time for the Olympics! FINALLY! I'm sure Zawadzki, Gao, Czisny et al. must be thrilled at this result because it means their chances at the Olympic team just improved a little. STILL going to be a blood bath at Nationals next year because even with 3 spots you have maybe 6 different women in contention.
Hopefully we won't waste it and let's choose three of the most deserving skaters next year to go.