Although it is impossible to have full consensus on such matters, I believe the following are some of those iconic programmes that should never be attempted by any skaters thereafter.
Yagudin - Winter & Gladiator
Could it be the best male SP pre-COP?
I find the gala version even more dramatic and captivating
I think no top level skater will ever be foolish to re-use Winter competitively, as it is what made Yagudin the darling of millions but we have seen Gladiator attempted a few times before Brian. Maybe Gladiator is not as iconic as Winter, but whenever I hear the music, the only thing that comes to my mind is Yagudin and his feathers in the gala programme, which was even more captivating than the LP.
Torvill & Dean - Bolero
The best death on ice
Yuna Kim - Tango de Roxanne
Oksana Baiul - Black Swan
Perfect Costume, Perfect Interpretation
I blame Darren Aronofsky and his beautiful movie for the recent explosion of Swan programmes. We have literally been swamped. Do we really need a new Black Swan, when Baiul reached perfection two decades earlier?
G&G - Moonlight Sonata
Their skating was as haunting as the music
Lambiel - Poeta
J'adore and J'adore some more
Poeta is the benchmark for all COP programmes. Poeta didn't really need decades to show it stood the test of time. Poeta is hailed as one of the best LPs in COP era by many fans. Also incidentally, Poeta was the programme that finally did the trick in converting my so far uninterested boyfriend into a skating enthusiast (I caught him watching Poeta on repeat, before he eventually "came out" as skating fan). That's how powerful Poeta is, even to the untrained eye. These reasons alone should be enough discourage skaters from attempting it.
But Mr Morozov is relentless. He doesn't care much for such sentimentality. At least, he should have cared that Poeta is flamenco and hence very difficult to interpret. I think we have already witnessed the doom of Poeta replicas in this season so far.
A&P - Carmina Burana
Fierce couple, fierce interpretation
Carmina Burana was a great vehicle for A&P in order to finally gain that world title. It was an intense, passionate dance, perfectly highlighting the marvellous music. Incidentally, the choreographers also happened to be Christopher Dean. Oh la la!
However, as I said in the beginning of the post, there are always exceptions to the rule. One perfect examples that comes to mind is Prelude to an Afternoon of a Fawn. After Janet Lynn made it eternal four decades ago, Kostner successfully reinterpreted the music in 2010/2011 season. Enjoy..