It was entirely up to the band to pick the winning team. There was a lively discussion around that table that didn't make the final edit of the show, and it was a very close call. I myself tried to persuade the guys to pick the other team, since the proteins are the heart of the meal, and both Ariane's turkey and Eugene's pork were great (not to mention the fact that Eugene's decision to create a makeshift grill was brilliant). In my mind, great proteins should have beaten out great desserts, but I was content with the choice, since it enabled us to send home the person who created the overall worst dish of the evening, the S'mores. Folks didn't like Jeff's dessert either: The pumpkin foam didn't work in largest part because Jeff tried to marry pumpkin, which is quintessentially autumnal, with raspberries, which are too bright and summery. Dried fruits such as cranberries or raisins pair well with pumpkin, as do nuts. But that mistake doesn't come close to the S'mores, which were a poor choice both conceptually and for logistical reasons. Richard got hung up on the fact that the rider mentioned the Foo Fighters' love of bananas. Big mistake right there - the team didn't need to address every single element in the rider, and what role have bananas ever played in anyone's Thanksgiving meal? If the rider said they liked Caprese Salad, would you have made that for Thanksgiving? I'm thinking not. And then to make the bananas into S'mores...? Have you ever seen a banana in a S'more? Bananas aside, let's talk about S'mores. They're never made in the home as part of a homey, comforting fall meal; they're made outside, in the summertime, around a campfire. So...why banana S'mores? Not to mention the fact that their execution was destined to fail, since they needed to be fresh and warm to be enjoyed, an impossibility under the circumstances of this challenge. I was mystified by the choice on every level.
Radhika's decision to make a vegan stuffing, on the other hand, was an example of a smart choice that incorporated Thanksgiving basics with the specifics of the rider. And everyone, vegan and otherwise, loved the dish. You'll note that there was no one winner this time around. Had there been, my vote would have gone to either Ariane or Eugene (though, of course, they were on the losing team, so never mind).