Paul and Sarah are excused. Paul says that his highlight was seeing his dad's smile, and Sarah loves that her family got to come into her world and see her in her element.
The judges start their discussion in order to pick an ultimate winner. Tom and Padma agree that Sarah and Paul are both peaking at the right time. They bring up Paul's first course, and how the two groups had wildly varying experiences because one batch was overcooked. Gail argues for Sarah's pasta as the better first course, and Tom thinks it's a toss up, but if Paul's custard hadn't been overcooked, he would have taken it.
Moving on to the second course, Emeril says that Sarah's fish had a perfect crust, but Paul's broth was amazing. Hugh agrees that the dish had amazing and sophisticated flavors, so the second course probably goes to Paul.
Padma thinks the third course will be the hardest to decide. Sarah's veal cheeks were amazing, but some of the judges got a sub-par polenta. Emeril wonders if Paul's congee was really that great and Hugh says that he thinks it was. So the third course is kind of a toss up as well.
For the dessert course, Emeril has to vote for Sarah's dessert. Gail thinks that Paul's dessert woke her up and had a mix of many different flavors. Hugh thinks that Sarah's dessert shouldn't be overlooked, because she really nailed hazelnut cake, which wasn't easy.
Overall, Gail thinks that Paul did what he does every day, while Sarah took risks. Well, I know they are supposed to judge just this one meal, but isn't that almost an argument to choose Paul? Like Paul always makes amazing food while Sarah just happened to make amazing food this one time when she really pushed herself but who knows if she could do this on an ongoing basis? I'm biased, I know. Tom argues that Paul sweats the details a little better. The problem the judges have is that all of the food was so good that you don't want to see one of them lose for making such good food. Well, you don't, Tom. I want to see one of them lose, because a tie would be lame.