‘Ink Master’ season 4, episode 4 review: Should sexuality play a part in tattooing?

Ink Master -If you thought that things were going to get easier for the artists on “Ink Master” this season, you thought wrong. The masterminds behind the show have been pushing the envelope this time around as they try to make the challenges as difficult as possible. We’ve seen tarantulas, scorpions, tattoo conventions and 5 people tattooing the same person at once… what else could they possibly throw at these people?

Flash challenge: This week the artists are being tested on placement and to help with that (and of course we use the word “help” sarcastically) the human canvases have no clothes on… at all. This made some of the artists very uncomfortable, but realistically this is a huge advantage to them since this is a placement challenge. Even though it was awkward for many of the artists to tattoo their canvases this way, most of them managed to show some great work. We love, love, loved Kyle’s slender cat and the judges praised him for this being the best piece he’s done, but he wasn’t even a consideration for the flash challenge win.

Winner drama: Scott ended up winning the flash challenge and with the advantage of handing out the skulls he decides to be strategic about it, telling Sausage that he is going to give harder tattoos to the top dogs. Sausage berates him for not playing admirably and we have to say that this is one of our biggest pet peeves in reality competitions. If you win an advantage, why is it not admirable or honorable to use that advantage to help you?

Elimination tattoo: Scott of course made no friends by giving the top dogs the hardest tattoos, but for the most part his strategy worked. Most everyone fell on their faces for the “aquatic/placement” challenge, but Scott’s hope of hurting Sausage’s game went out the window when he presented a really cool squid/deep sea diver tattoo. Although Sausage had a great tattoo, Scott also won the elimination tattoo.

Scott chose Randy to go into the bottom, the canvas jury chose Roland and the judges picked Bubba. In the end the judges sent home Randy for what was a pretty rough tattoo, but not before he had a bit of a meltdown and talked about how difficult it is being a gay man in the tattoo industry. We understand that he had some serious struggles in this industry and we totally sympathize with him, but bad tattooing in this competition is bad tattooing and he honestly has struggled since the start of the show. Randy went out in a blaze of glory and insulted Chris Nunez as he walked out the door… this was complete entertainment gold!

Lots of drama and lots of bad tattoos lead to a pretty interesting episode tonight. Episode grade: B+

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Photo: Spike TV

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