“Ink Master” is back with season 3 and there is one big change this season that may give one of the contestants a huge advantage. This is the first year that a returning contestant will be part of the cast, and having gone through this competition once already, Tatu Baby may have an advantage since she knows the judges, what they are looking for and the over all stress level from the game. We are excited to see her back and see how the new contestants feel about her being back in the competition for a second go around against the first timers.
To kick things off in this premiere, the contestants are brought to a prison, where they will be showing their flexibility skills by tattooing prisoners using only a single needle tattoo machine. Although we saw a little friction with Kyle and his canvas, (and it is an over all intimidating situation for everyone), there were a lot of nice tattoos to come out of this. Joey showed some incredible skill and it’s easy to see that he is someone that the other contestants will need to watch out for.
The elimination challenge involved cover-up tattoos, something that every good tattoo artist needs to know how to do and is a great challenge to show how flexible an artist can be. Mysitcal Mike found himself in trouble pretty early on in this game when he reveals that he only brought one tattoo machine to the competition (his tattoo was also not that great), but Madison had trouble showing detail and Frank’s tattoo had line work issues, outline issues and color problems. Frank went home, which was no surprise, but we are pretty worried abut Mike too – he just doesn’t seem ready for this competition.
The winner of the first elimination challenge was Tatu Baby and it’s easy to see why she was brought back for a second go around. This seems like a great cast, but also a very divided cast as there are a few top dogs that are clearly way ahead of some of the other artists. It’s going to be an interesting season. Episode grade: B
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