There are only five shops remaining, and with that Ink Master season 9 episode 14 is going to be more competitive than ever.
At this point, the strategies of some of the remaining teams are clear, and for Christian Buckingham, he’s made it super clear now that he wants to face off against two other powerhouses in the finale: Black Cobra Tattoo and Golden Skull Tattoo. They’re all great shops, and they’re tough competitors to go up against at the end. Yet, Unkindness Art and Old Town Ink aren’t going to lay down and die. They’ve clearly got the target on their backs, but they’ve made it through all sorts of other hurdles in this competition and may find a way to persevere once more.
One of the things we’ve realized about Unkindness Art over time is that they are really good at facing whatever craziness is thrown at them — they’re super-creative and understand a lot of different styles. While we don’t think that anyone would argue with the notion that Erin Chance is the clear alpha of the partnership, Doom Kitten is the real reason they were safe during episode 13. They both can put out really good work and they’ve got a great relationship. You can say the same thing about Old Town Ink, given that Bubba Irwin and DJ Tambe have worked extremely well together all season and DJ is the top dog of that pairing. We think there’s not much of ego in these partnerships, and this is why they could make it to the end.
What’s interesting as a whole about where we are right now is that we don’t actually think that there’s an unlikable team in the bunch. Sure, you can argue that Basilica are the “villains” of the season (although they really aren’t), but there’s something compelling about the way Christian work a room. He’s one of the best strategists in Ink Master history, and what’s interesting about that is that if you were to pluck him from this show and throw him on a Survivor or Big Brother, he would do just as well as he does on Ink Master, because he understands how to make relationships and build coalitions. He doesn’t back down from a challenge, hence him wanting to recreate the season 7 finale against Cleen Rock One and get the win over him. (How ironic would it be, though, if Christian makes it to the final three and is eliminated before the final two again?).
After Ink Master season 9 episode 14, we’ll be down to the final four; at that point, we do think the competition will shift to one simple question: What shop do you want to be up against in the finale? These artists are going to have to start taking that into consideration since they’re otherwise at risk of screwing themselves in the final steps of the competition. Alliances have to go somewhat out the window if you want to focus on the shops you know you can beat.
Who do you think is in the most trouble going into Ink Master season 9 episode 14? Share now in the attached comments below!
Meanwhile, you can head over here to read our full review from Tuesday’s episode 13. (Photo: Spike.)