As I saw it, first and foremost, the dish needed to taste great. Howie's incomplete dish still tasted good, despite its unfinished state; Clay's did not. Other factors we looked at were how well each chef adhered to the challenge and how well they used the products. At the end of protracted debate, we felt that Clay's full dish was worse than Howie's half dish. End of story. Why is this different than what went down in Season One with Dave? For one thing, it was a simple numbers game -- Dave got credit for winning one out of three challenges, losing another and failing to complete the third. Tiffani came in second for all three. That made her the stronger contender overall, so she came in second. It was never simply that Dave was let go because he failed to complete a challenge - that went into our overall calculations over three challenges, and it contributed (key word -- contributed) to his demise.