I get that both are Rachmaninoff pieces, but that doesn't mean the two pieces of music should be used together. It is a total mismatch. They make no sense and the tone is entirely different. I think I kind of get what the thought process was — do something at the end to bring the audience to their feet — so they went with something higher tempo to try to achieve this. It just doesn't work. It doesn't help that it's sloppily performed and the choreography a mess.
One thing that Virtue/Moir got absolutely right with their music choice (whether you liked Moulin Rouge or not) was that it was totally different than P/C. They didn't try to out P/C, P/C as it were. This dance is kind of S/K trying to do just that. They shouldn't challenge the French with these pieces they've chosen this season. But then again, they shouldn't be the favourites for silver either.
Moulin Rouge was a bit of a hot mess at the start of the season too but they were thoughtful and purposeful and made changes throughout the season - even switching Scott from being styled more like the creepy duke (I mean that gray... yikes) to Christian’s character to improve the story. But at least they were thinking about the story.
The problem with this free dance of S/K is that it’s generic as heck and even Vika stated that there is no special story and it’s about the soul of Russia whatever that means. Also the costuming of him in both RD and FD are atrocious especially the RD. It’s like the least flattering tops he could possibly wear and totally kills his lines. I have gone to bat for S/K in the past but they do not deserve the GOE/PCS they were given at NHK and should be fighting for the podium let alone be promoted as a favourite in a two-horse race.