I have a pretty strong opinion about this. Skaters need to find a lane and stay in it. Perfect it. Optimize it. Win! I'll use my favorite skater of all time to demonstrate this point; Michelle Kwan.
For over a decade she was hammering out amazing programs...she stayed "in her lane." Then in 2004-2005 she did that Bolero program and for the first time I was like "Oh girl, that is not a great program." She tried to be a skater she wasn't...it didn't work.
At NHK there was an overwhelming amount of these types of programs happening. Here are some of the culprits:
Oh boy...ummm. The skaters that win a lot, even when they try new things, they do it in a way that doesn't take away from who they are as skaters. It's like changing the color of your car...but still keeping the same car. Skaters have to know what their strengths are as skaters and play to them. The above programs do the exact opposite. Armin is a flowing classical skater, Cynthia and Agnes are strength skaters, and the Reed's do best when they aren't attempting character pieces.
In short, what I'm saying is...If you're going to push yourself as an artistic and try something new...make sure it works.
Side note not associated with the above post, but I feel as if the judges righted a wrong by giving Shibby the win at NHK...however I feel like it was at the expense of Weaver and Poje...just saying.