Tonight’s episode of “Ink Master” is now down to eight tattoo artists who are competing for an editorial feature in Inked magazine, the monetary prize of $100,000 and the most enviable of prizes; the title of “Ink Master.” Last week, two more artists left the fold, and the herd is thinning.
As the episode begins, the non-eliminated artists return to the loft. They see that King Ruck and Jim Francis are no longer in the mix. Gentle Jay returns and tells Kyle Dunbar that Chris Nunez told them to relay the message to Kyle that he should have been among those who stood to be eliminated. As Kyle isn’t angry enough at what he conceives as unfairness from the judges, who he believes favor Scott Marshall, he now has a larger chip on his shoulder.
For the Flash Challenge, the artists were brought to a warehouse. As they stood before the judges, Dave stated that there are less than half of the artists left in the competition. Before he finished his words, Kyle spoke up and directed his words at Chris, he told him he was pushing him to a level of insanity for first calling him insane, and then sending a message to him about the last elimination. He told Chris he could tattoo circles around him. As Kyle called him outside, Chris went outside, but the security force would not let it turn into a pier six brawl.
When the three judges returned, they asked if Kyle was coming back? Dave stated that he was not, and was out of the competition. Now only seven remain for the Flash Challenge. This week they are testing Negative Space, which is the area that you do not tattoo. Without enough Negative Space, the tattoo becomes dark and unreadable. Today they are using gunpowder to create a design on an eight by eight piece of canvas, not on a real person. They must work as a team, but now that there is no longer an even playing field, someone must work alone. Halo, as the winner of the last challenge chose the teams. The teams were; Sausage as the solo player against Halo & Scott, Matti & Melissa and Lydia & Gentle Jay, who are both disappointed at their fate. Scott boasts that he is taking the lead and does not want Halo to ruin it. Matti knows he has fared better than Melissa throughout the competition as she lets him do his thing. Jay tries to micro manage the project as Lydia wants to do her thing. Once time was up, the projects were set aflame to see how they turned out, using the Negative Space, while the gunpowder made the outlines. The winners were Halo & Scott, who did a great job of pyramids with a bright sun shining above. They will get to choose the canvases for the Elimination Challenge, meanwhile; they were sent back to the loft, where the conversation was all about Kyle.
For the Elimination Challenge, the guest judge was none other than, musician and director of some of the most gruesome horror movies, Rob Zombie. In keeping with the theme of the day, Negative Space, the artists must tattoo in black and gray, and it must be a demon. Halo plans to screw over Matti, to break up the alliance between he and Scott. As the canvases called out their tattooer, Sausage was given one that he believed was not tattooable skin. They had six hours to perform the task at hand. When Sausage attempted to explain how difficult stomach skin was, especially after a weight loss, the guy told him that he did not care if he went home or not, he just wanted his free tattoo. Sausage explained to the fans, that he left his family to come there and win, and this guy cares little about anything but his tattoo. As Scott came by to rub Sausage’s face in the fact that they screwed him over, he found out Sausage talked him into a chest piece, that is much easier for him than the stomach tattoo, he originally wanted. Then Scott called Sausage a slippery little wiener, when he was the slickest of them all. When Scott went to tell Halo about the change of the tattoo’s venue, he was not happy either. However, the conflict with this canvas was not over, as he continued to argue with Sausage about every little thing. Sausage said he would tattoo himself for the competition, but as a man of faith, would not put a demon on himself.
As the artists started their creations, Matti stated that Halo’s tattoo looked like ten pounds of s**t in a five-pound bag, and he wants to beat Scott at any cost. Matti and Scott have a pact, to get them in the top three and Sausage and Halo out of the competition. Gentle Jay feels that Scott and Halo tried to screw him, but all they are doing is motivating him, because they will not embarrass him in front of Rob Zombie. Lydia is losing her confidence, because this is her specialty and the canvas chose to have a hairy demon, and she is spending too much time on the hair.
When time was up, they went back to the loft, Sausage was annoyed that they tried to screw him with the stomach tattoo. But they just label him a crybaby. Halo told him that they did not want him to lose; just not to win.
At the Tattoo Critique, the four judges were waiting to rule. Lydia was up first, and her tattoo was not pleasing to the judges; her negative space was not defined and as for the black and gray, it was mostly black and barely any gray. Matti did a sexy female demon with one bare breast exposed. It was met well by the judges, and the negative space was well defined, but the judges disagreed on the way the hair was done. Melissa’s was difficult to discern; it was an angry demon’s mouth, but unless close up, indefinable. Gentle Jay’s was decent, but the parts where he rushed were very discernible and detracted from the tattoo. Halo’s tattoo was, as Rob Zombie put it, the oddest/weirdest one of the bunch. Scott did the face of a man with strange eyes, but it was supposed to be a demon, and lacked demonic qualities. Sausage did a gargoyle that was lauded by each judge, especially Rob Zombie, and Dave noted that Halo and Scott’s attempt to throw him under the bus may have backfired on them, as Sausage’s tattoo was voted the best of the day. Who will he choose to send home?
When they went back to the loft, the judges conferred. They expected Lydia to do much better, as this was supposed to be her comfort zone. They were surprised that Halo’s tattoo was so unreadable, because he chose to add too many items to the tattoo, and judged it worse than Melissa’s and Lydia’s. While the human canvas jury convened, they had a few choices for the worst tattoo. When Oliver came to the loft, he asked Sausage who he put up for elimination, and it was Lydia. Oliver then called for Sausage, Lydia, Melissa and Halo. Melissa was there because the human canvas jury voted hers as the worst tattoo of the day. However, at the conclusion, Dave told Lydia to pack up her machines and close her shop, because she did not have what it takes to be “Ink Master.” Now down to six tattoo artists, it will be a battle royal, and the odds are getting slimmer that a woman will be voted this season’s “Ink Master.”