I feel you are all owed explanations, so I'm going to break this one down: "At least Sam was willing to take a risk with his watermelon & cheese dish..." Without question, watermelon and cheese can work brilliantly together (I ate a delicious hors d'oeuvres of watermelon and feta at my friend Brad Farmerie's restaurant, Public, in downtown Manhattan) but for the dish to work, I feel the watermelon should be cold, so that the refreshing quality of the fruit works against the sharpness of the cheese. For some reason Sam felt the dish would benefit from being heated. In my thinking "hot" and "watermelon" just don't work together except possibly in the following sentence, "It was so hot outside, we each inhaled three slices of cool, refreshing watermelon." While Sam's warmed-up watermelon just didn't work, we did appreciate that he showed leadership, took a risk and used his imagination. For this reason he wasn't sent home.
"Marcel served raw chicken which is a health hazard ... he should have been sent home." Marcel's chicken wasn't great, but he had actually made a stab at chicken confit -- a preparation often used with duck leg, in which the meat is cured in spices and slowly cooked in its own fat. If the chicken confit had worked, it would have been unusual and delicious. Most likely Marcel cooked the wings at a temperature high enough to make them safe, but the faulty execution gave the dish a soft, undercooked texture and appearance. And though the judge's confit discussion did not make it into the episode, we discussed it and agreed that, like Sam's unsuccessful watermelon dish, Marcel's chicken showed a stab at doing something interesting.