Regardless, Meditation was a complex, beautiful program, which I was lucky enough to watch at the Delta Center in SLC that night. Love Story was a pleasant program but it was very simple, lacking in transitions, which made it easier to skate it clean (also the fact that they were skating it since 2000. Even Shen & Zhao said that B&S deserved to win. B&S skated well enough, though not perfect, and deserved to get a narrow win. One small error- a step out on the 2A by Anton- was so insignificant when you consider the complexity of the choreography, the superiority of their basic skating, the speed going from one difficult element to another, that the result should never have been questioned in the first place.
IMO Love Story was not a competitive program, and I had mentioned it as soon as I found out they were going to use that in the Olympics. The Orchid would have been competitive, but we saw how uncomfortable Jamie was with that program, and it was unlikely that they would have skated it clean and with confidence. Had the Olympics not taken place in North America, it is quite possible that the results would have been accepted as a close win for B&S.
Had B&S skated their Citylights (Chaplin) program at the Olympics, they would have skated it with more confidence (again,an old program with minor changes), but in 2001 they got a mixed reception from the judges. IMO they deserved to win the 2001 worlds, even with a couple of minor flaws (crash landing on the split 3tw and a shaky landing on the throw 3R), because of the originality and the complex moves, speed, their interpretation of the character of the music. B&S loved that program, and wanted to skate it in the Olympics. However, losing GPF 01 and worlds 01 was a red flag. During the 2001-2002 season the judges told Tamara that they wanted B&S to skate to classical music, so she chose a familiar piece of music- Meditation- and made the choreography so difficult that no other pair could come close to it. B&S were well rewarded for the complexity of the choreography, their speed, lack of rest periods, in the presentation marks. Choreographically it was a more interesting program, and it was skated well, based on what I saw. It was not the third rate performance that our media made it, and the results should never have been questioned. However, politics are politics and FS cannot escape it.