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'Ink Master' contestants are in the ‘Fight to the Finish’ on Spike

The entire cast and judges, now down to the final four
The entire cast and judges, now down to the final four
Photo courtesy of Spike, used with permission

Tonight’s episode of “Ink Master” is down to four tattoo artists competing for an editorial feature in Inked magazine, the monetary prize of $100,000 and the most enviable of all prizes; the title of “Ink Master.” Last week, Melissa was sent home not for having the worst tattoo, but because she never had a winning tattoo. Halo was chosen by Matti for elimination, and Scott was chosen by the human canvas jury, so with four left, one will be leaving tonight. Who do you think should go home?

As the episode titled, “Fight to the Finish” begins, Dave calls them to the shop and tells them that all the elimination tattoos were won by them. The next tattoo will be the one that sends one of them packing as the final three head to the live season finale.

This week, all the essential skills will be judged; skill, contrast, detail, proportion and dimension. There are not more flash challenges and no more human canvas juries, and the winner will not put an artist up for elimination; from now on, it is completely up to the judges.

Dave tells the artists that some of the most meaningful tattoos celebrate a victory, one of the greatest triumphs is surviving cancer, as Halo knows all too well. The canvases today have all survived one of the deadliest forms; breast cancer. Many have beat cancer by having a mastectomy, while some choose to reconstruct their breast, but the scars remain, in very sensitive areas. The canvases were chosen randomly, and they had the rest of the night to meet with their canvas. Tomorrow, they will have six hours to complete their breast tattoos.

The next day, the artists were ready to do one of the most important tattoos of their lives. Scott’s canvas had second thoughts, and Scott showed compassion to her, and he helped her decide to do a much smaller tattoo than originally decided. Before Sausage entered the loft, Scott decided that Sausage should go home. When he returned, Scott asked him who he thought should go home, and Sausage said Scott should go home, and the undercurrent continued.

At the Tattoo Critique, Dave announced that they must do another six-hour tattoo to earn their place in the live finale. On the opening episode, the artists had to earn their place in the competition. Because some of the tattoos were pretty poor, and fans wonder what happens to the people who have those jacked up tattoos? Now they will meet four of them, and their job is to do a cover up tattoo in six hours as part two of this challenge. One of the canvases had a bad reaction to the red ink in her tattoo, so she will be the only one with an open canvas and no cover up will be required. The lucky artist will have a serious advantage in the competition. However, this time, the canvases will have ten minutes to interview the artists and decide who they want to have tattoo them.

As the interviews proceeded, Halo told the first man that he was not his guy to cover up his tattoo. Scott told another that to cover up his tattoo with what he wanted, just was not going to work. Sausage received the canvas that nobody else wanted to do. Scott found out that Halo told all the canvases that he did not do cover ups, and this really pissed-off Scott, because Halo won a cover up challenge. By allowing the canvases to interview the artists alone, the artists were still in control, because if they did not like the tattoo, some alienated the canvas.

When the time began, they proceeded to put their best work on the line. The other artists called Halo on his admission that he does not do cover ups, and all knew it was an outright lie. He just wanted the blank canvas, and did not want anyone else to have it.

At the critique, Oliver loved the mastectomy tattoo that Sausage did. For his cover-up of Melissa’s tattoo of the compass with the airplane in the center, Chris told him that for anyone to add to this tattoo will be very difficult, because it is hot. Scott’s mastectomy tattoo was impressive by Oliver, and his cover-up was not properly placed because he used yellow to cover a black tattoo. Matti’s flower on the breast was given good marks; the cover-up was not because the amount of blue in the flowers drew the eye away from the skull. Halo did a great job on his mastectomy tattoo; lovely flowers were the focal point, and the soft colors impressed the judges. For his blank canvas, they were not impressed.

Dave sent them back to the loft while they made their toughest decision yet. In the loft, Sausage and Scott were together, and Halo and Matti were in another area. As Matti spoke, he told Halo that the two of them were fighting for third place, and Matti also told Halo that given 35 hours, he could kick both Scott and Sausage’s behinds.

As Dave, Chris and Oliver conferred, they started with Sausage’s tattoos. He did an excellent job with the cancer survivor and loved the way he reworked the existing tattoo in black and gray and did an awesome job. Halo did a great job on the mastectomy tattoo, but to do more flowers for the second one, and not as good a job, detracted from his credibility with the judges. Scott’s mastectomy tattoo was sparse, but nice and Oliver stated that he was very good at pleasing people, but on his cover up of Jay’s nautical star, was not properly placed and the yellow did not allow the clack star to be hidden. Matti did another awesome job on the mastectomy tattoo, but his elimination tattoo was a blue blob where the cover-up was located.

As the nervous artists sat in the loft, Oliver called them all to the shop. The best tattoo of the day belonged to Sausage. Next, they told Scott, he continuously performed at a high standard, and he earned his spot in the live finale. Then the last two were standing, and after commending both remaining artists, Dave stated that Matti, after a long pause was going to the finale. Subsequently Dave told Halo, he did not have what it took to be “Ink Master.” Dave then told him that after saying that phrase so many times, this was the first time he truly regretted saying it. To say Halo was disappointed was an understatement.

The final three will each be assigned a master canvas. They will have a total of 35-hours over the next several months to complete their tattoo. They must all tattoo a back-piece and reveal their master canvas live on the season finale and they must make it the best tattoo they have ever done. The judges will nitpick every detail. As the three finalists shook hands, they left the studio to head home, where they will create the $100,000 tattoo.

Next week, the live season finale will take place, and then and only then; everyone will know who the next “Ink Master” will be. Who are you rooting for?

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