Kovtun's had his own share of huge bombs. His Worlds skate wasn't great either. He came fourth 'cause no one was there at the post-Olympics Worlds.
I think if both skate clean with similar content, Artur has the artistic edge over Kovtun. Anyway, it's too early to call, especially since they're both prone to inconsistency. Maybe I'm being optimistic because I'd much rather have four years of Artur as the top Russian man over Kovtun.
It's not so much that I dislike his programs. I dislike his movements and his style of skating. He just looks so awkward to me. Imo, it's harder to improve how you sell a program as opposed to simply getting good programs.
But yeah, we'll see. I hope Kovtun becomes more watchable, since he's more likely to stick around than poor Gachinski.