I understand that because these are friends you are going to report back to, you don't want to let them down. And you don't want to lose them as friends over this.
Make sure, before you all decide, that you have clear criteria for who you all choose. Basing your choice on 'who you like better' is not necessarily wise, since all of them are friends.
Then you can say 'someone else was more suitable for the criteria the whole group agreed on'. If this is still 'bad' to say, then I suppose a white lie won't hurt ... 'It was a draw and someone else lucked out, sorry'.
This is obviously your challenge to be diplomatically honest. Good luck!