On Tuesday night’s installment of “Ink Master” the top six artists were tested on precision, making sure every line, shading, and detail is in sync and compliments the tattoo. The first order of business was Flash Challenge done in teams of two and they were to paint an original and cohesive picture on an oversized pair of headphones. The winners would not only get to pick skulls for the Elimination Tattoo, but also would have the winning drawing produced on a limited edition of headphones and made available to the public,
Cleen who had the top tattoo last week got to form the teams for the Flash Challenge, he chose Mark as his partner and then Jason & Eric and Aaron & Cris. The winning team was Cleen and Mark hands down that meant they could assign skulls and as always be strategic as to whom they wanted to single out for elimination. And this consisted of tattooing portraits, that exemplifies precision, because any missed detail or exaggerated line can change the face completely, and Jason is quite familiar with this since he was eliminated in sixth place based on a portrait he tattooed that was horrendous back in season three.
They would be tattooing head to head, because there would be two canvases for each portrait for the showdown. Cleen chose to go head to head with Jason, Mark decided to tattoo against Eric, and then there was Cris and Aaron. This last artist prides himself in being an expert at portraits and had the gull to announce that he would beat Cris, because he was the best at tattooing portraits.
It was time for critique and first up were Cleen & Jason and ultimately the former won the head to head, then Eric & Mark and the latter took the win, and then there were Cris & Aaron and both were given bad reviews, to such degree that the judges could not name a winner, and the human canvases decided that Cris was the worst tattoo of the day.
Once Eric, Cris, and Aaron stood before the judges they all spoke bad against the others, and claimed that they had missed the mark this one time but that it would not happen again. The judges had a bad time deciding on which artist to send home, between Aaron and Cris, this last artist had given up on a tattoo in a previous episode even before he picked up his machine, but then Aaron had missed much in his tattooing, the judges were polled and ultimately it was Aaron who was told to close shop.
There is definitely too much trash talking and much insecurity in this contest where the artistry displayed can be fascinating, but when it is bad it is also highlighted by attitudes that spring forth only to conceal an inherit desire to prove to other people what it is not there in the first place. And Jason at the outset of the challenge had proclaimed his fear of the challenge and the time of the competition, but once he was questioned he took on the defensive and accused Aaron of trying to get in his head, in reality no one can get in your head Jason, you alone form those barriers that keep you from moving forward. Recaps, episodes, and information on Ink Master can be found at www.spike.com/shows/ink-master
“Ink Master” runs on Tuesday at 10 p.m. EDT on Spike.