for me michelle had among the best spirals and footwork sequences in the history of the sport and that's just speaking for individual technical elements. her edges were also top notch.
I also happen to think her artistry is pretty much the best but that's of course subjective. I will agree with those who say her choreography became extremely watered down later on in her career as opposed to the mid-section during the late 90's where every program was intricate and complex, filled to the brim with nuances, even the exhibitions.
@ judgejudy, I can't speak for all of irina's footwork but I distinctly remember her 05 worlds footwork to be a big flaw on an otherwise amazing program (yes the historic one where she won and made a big comeback). it was just so awkward. I can't recall anyone's footwork getting the same kind of response michelle's did consistently throughout her career. most people remember how she always had a climactic footwork sequence that had the crowd going crazy during the latter part of her career but even earlier than that during her rachmaninoff 1998 or dream of desdemona 1997 programs she had very nuanced and fast circular footwork that distinguished her from most of the rest of her competition.
kind of off topic, but most graceful skater evarrrr