On tonight’s episode of “Ink Master” now down to fifteen tattoo artists from all over the country are competing for the title of “Ink Master,” an editorial feature in Inked magazine and the monetary prize of $100,000. Last week, Ashley Bennett was eliminated after her meltdown.
As the episode begins, the Flash Challenge brings the artists again to Coney Island where the word of the day is Consistency. Consistency concerns the outlining of the tattoo, which should be the same throughout, no thick/thin lines that are not following through with the drawing. Today they must tattoo identical twins, mirror images of each other. For this flash challenge, they will be working in teams of three. One artist must design the tattoo, while the other two must do a tattoo on one of the twins; matching the tattoos perfectly, all showing consistency. As the artists were not exactly overjoyed at this concept, they then found out that there was just one set of female, bikini-clad twins. Now five teams will be designing, placing and performing the tattooing on the twins all at the same time.
Roland Pacheco, Sausage and Bubba Irwin got the left arm with a mirror image on the right arm. Roland knew how Sausage felt about having him on the team, so he did the design, as to avoid any conflict with Sausage, who he knows is a better tattooer.
Scott Marshall, Melissa Monroe and Jim Francis got the torso. Scott and Jim had a conflict as, Scott was doing his own thing, and Melissa saw the difference immediately. With 45 minutes left, there was little consistency in their tattoos.
Gentle Jay, Keith Diffenderfer and Lydia Bruno got the left leg with a mirror image on the right leg. Gentle Jay was not so gentle when he found out that Keith scrapped the game plan completely. Jay feels that Keith has his head firmly implanted up his ass.
David Bell, Randy Vollink and Matti Hixson got the right arm with the mirror image on the left arm. As David, who suffered a bad accident last year when he was run over while on his motorcycle, was leaning over to tattoo the woman’s arm, he experienced excruciating pain in his back.
King Ruck, Halo and Kyle Dunbar got the right leg with a mirror image on the left leg. King Ruck did the design, and Kyle and Halo who have worked together before, were about the happiest team.
As the tattooing proceeded, it was not an easy chore. As some were doing the ink, others were rubbing theirs off, thus moving the canvas and disturbing others who were drawing. With three hours to design and tattoo the twins, not all people were happy with the artists they got stuck with, but the choices were made blindly, and nobody could complain. As time was up, the tattooing stopped.
Team of Randy, David and Matti did a fairly decent job with a Gypsy woman whom Randy designed.
Team of Keith, Gentle Jay and Lydia received kudos for Lydia’s design, but the color palette was not as saturated on Keith’s and Jay’s was more vibrant. Keith did not agree with Oliver’s critique of his tattoo.
Bubba, Sausage and Roland received kudos for the design and the mirroring with only minor imperfections.
Kyle, Halo and King Ruck had a nice owl that King Ruck drew. Halo finished before Kyle and Chris said that Kyle’s outline was much cleaner, which reflected in Halo's work, as their subtle inconsistencies brought them down a notch.
Scott, Melissa and Jim had a great lion head that Melissa drew, but Scott’s was more vibrant because he used more black, Jim stated that he was a soft tattooer.
As the judges conferred, they did not like Keith and Jay’s work as drawn by Lydia. The inconsistencies were abundant.
Scott, Melissa and Jim were not consistent in the tones of the two compared side by side.
In the top were Roland, Sausage and Bubba whose were flawless all around, and they won the Flash Challenge.
For the Elimination Challenge, the guest judge was Carlos Torres, owner of Timeline Gallery in San Pedro, Calif. The challenge was to be consistent in doing a geometric design that repeats the same design over and over. With inconsistencies in this challenge, the errors will be blatant. As winners of the Flash Challenge, Roland, Sausage and Bubba got to choose the canvases. As the canvases called out the geometric designs they wanted, the design names threw the tattooers for a loop. However, the choices were made, and nobody seemed too happy with this challenge. Dave then reminded them that the human canvas jury, and the winner of the best tattoo would each put an artist up for elimination.
Leaving the rest of the evening to consult with their canvas, Gentle Jay, was ready to choke his canvas because she was very indecisive. David was in so much pain, that he went to the hospital to have an injection in his back so he could make it through the next day’s grueling six hours. He wants to make his daughters proud.
The next day they had six hours to complete their tattoo. David rushed through his because of his pain. Sausage lauded him for giving it his all, but Gentle Jay told him he was using his injury as an excuse. David said that if he gets to stay, he is going to continue to give it his all, but Jay said there is no crying in tattooing. Wasn’t that said to someone else last week?
At the critique, Scott’s was a kick ass tattoo. Bubba's ends looked unfinished; he was not among the top with this one. Sausage did one awesome tattoo, and he was told he set the bar. King Ruck’s looked good, but the inconsistencies showed through to the trained eyes of the judges. Halo’s was a big prism that received raves from the judges. Lydia’s negative skin areas were good, but the shaded ones were terrible. Roland did a tattoo that did not have a lot of detail, but he put in the black and received good grades from the judges, as many of his competitors were dismayed. Melissa made a nice design with intricate details, but her lines were not straight enough for the judges. Keith did not clean up his edges and seemed like a rookie on this tattoo. Kyle did a perfect circular tattoo, and Chris was happy to see him do something technical. Jay was not pleased with his tattoo or his canvas. Chris told him that he went wrong right out of the gate, Oliver did like the consistency of this, as Chris shook his head. Jim’s was nicely shaded, and the maze was perfectly drawn, but the cube on the inside should have been given more dimension. Matti did a design that contained puzzle pieces, but the judges said it looked like a weird cover up. Randy did a geometric design that was a vast improvement to his previous work, but Oliver said it was very inconsistent. David’s contained a lot of chewed up skin, and the judges were not sure the design was even geometric.
Before they went back to the loft, Sausage and Scott had the best tattoos, and the winner was Sausage. He had to choose the worst tattoo to put up for elimination, while the human canvas jury convened. Back at the loft, the usual macho banter was going on. Oliver came back and asked Sausage who he chose for elimination. He chose Roland. As the human canvas jury decided they chose David. Oliver brought back Roland, David and Bubba to face elimination. Sausage was there to explain why he chose Roland, and he said it was not for today’s work, but for his previous work and Sausage does not believe he has what it takes to continue.
As the judges spoke to the three, they said that justifiably any one of them could go home for their performances, but because his pain clouded his judgment, David Bell was told he did not have what it takes to be “Ink Master.”