Tonight’s “Ink Master” is down to six artists who are all vying for the grand prize. What is at stake is an editorial feature in Inked magazine, the monetary prize of $100,000 and the most enviable of all prizes; the title of “Ink Master.”
“Ink Master Rivals” sent Don, the last rival home last week, but Jason’s butt was on the line too, and this week, it could be any of the six as the competition gets closer and closer to the live finale on December 16. When the artists were taken to a park on the shores of the Hudson River, they were told by Dave Navarro that this week’s theme was Precision; which meant their lines, shading and details must be precise. Like tattoos; headphones are now making a bold statement. Monster DNA has commissioned various artists to create their own headphones, including Ink Master Judge Chris Nunez. He explained to the group that precision was of the utmost importance in designing headphones which are an unusual shape.
For their Flash Challenge, they must create their own giant sized Monster DNA headphones and a limited run of the winning headphones will be offered by Monster DNA for one day only at Handcrafted in Miami, Florida or at monsterproducts.com/inkmaster, but the link will not go live until 11 p.m. eastern time, after the airing of the episode. They must work in teams of two and Cleen had to chance to assign the skulls. He chose Mark for his partner because he has a graffiti background and teamed up Aaron with Cris and Jason with Erik. The winners will assign the skulls in the Elimination Tattoo.
When time was up, the only completed headphones belonged to Cleen and Mark. Jason spent more time arguing about the background with Erik than painting and Aaron and Cris lacked the keyword; Precision. In the end, there was only one choice as Cleen and Mark won it hands down. Ollie told the other four not to let someone walk away with a win and they should put up a fight.
In the loft, tempers were flaring and Jason felt that the others were trying to get in his head and setting off his anxiety disorder. At the Elimination Tattoo, Dave announced the guest judge; a second generation tattoo artist who was taught by his father. The owner of Salt Water Tattoo Supply and Classic Tattoo in Fullerton, California, was Mr. Tim Hendricks. They are not the only critics; they will also be judged by America and the Human Canvas Jury. Again, the word of the day is Precision. The challenge for the artists is portraits and last time, Jason was eliminated on portrait day, so he feels like the universe is screwing with him.
Dave announced that the canvases were in pairs, doing a side-by-side like never before. Tim Hendricks stated, “Go big or go home.” Dave then told them that two canvases want the same portrait and they have brought the subject along with them. Now Cleen and Mark have to choose which two artists will go head-to-head and to choose wisely. One canvas wants a portrait on his ribs and will not choose another spot. Jason got that one on the ribs and was completely pissed and he will be going head-to-head with Jason. Erik and Mark will go head-to-head leaving Aaron and Cris.
As the artists were completing their stencil, Aaron stated that he was the best portrait artist left in the competition, riling Cris up before they started. With six hours to complete the portrait, it was time to start. As pain showed on the faces of the canvases, the machismo was evident as each felt they won the challenge. Rather than having nice words for each other, as they all feel the pain of competing; they would rather pounce on each other. Aaron is now being called the portrait king, as he believes he is better at portraits than anyone else left in the competition.
At the Tattoo Critique Mark was given great marks because his portrait was precise and well done. Erik’s changed the face a bit and the nose and lips were not as the photo and his precision was lacking. Mark won that one unanimously. Cleen nailed every part of the photo down to every last detail. As the judges lauded his work, one could only feel the steam coming from Jason’s ears. When his turn came, the portrait had too many differences to make it precise. The winner was Cleen, without a doubt. Cris put highlights in the portrait that did not exist and exaggerated too many lines that were there. Aaron lost his crown as portrait king because he made too many errors in his translation. He gave her a droopy eye and blackened her gums in her smile. There was no clear winner in this duo because neither deserved the win.
As they returned to the loft, the braggadocio did not end, as each defended their work and criticized the others’. Jason stayed quiet this time, but the others felt that if they had their opponent’s canvas, they would have done better. Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda! Now it is up to the Human Canvas Jury and the four judges to decide who goes home. Ollie came to advise the bottom three; Erik, Aaron and Cris, leaving Jason to live another day. They all proceeded to the shop. Cris had the worst tattoo of the day according to the Human Canvas Jury. As the four judges conferred, they flip flopped back and forth between Aaron and Cris, leaving Erik out of the mix. Finally when they had to make a difficult choice, as Dave then told Aaron that he did not have what it takes to be “Ink Master.”