Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post
The lp at 97 worlds had all 3 medalists tied with 3 first places each iirc, telling us that the judges basically felt them all on par and each worthy of the title. However, once the dust settled the lp was marked 1. Kwan 2. Tara 3. Irina so a clean short wouldn't help her win if she couldn't beat Tara or Kwan (with a mistake!) in the lp. She'd really need to not only not fall in the sp, but have Tara fall instead.
I am not sure how credible a source she is but Christine Brennan implied in her book the judges would definitely have placed Irina 1st or 2nd in the long for the same skate but after a poor short and other poor showings that season they had wrote her off. Being in 1st or 2nd in the short they wouldnt have been able to. Brennan is not a Slutskaya fan so I doubt she would go out of her way to inflate her.

It might be too that the judges did not want to see Tara lose the title with 2 clean programs so they were careful she didnt potentially split Michelle and Tara in the long to make that happen.