‘Ink Master’ season 4, episode 6 review: Did King Ruck tattoo himself?

Ink Master season 4Last week on “Ink Master” we saw the show returning to it’s roots: Gone were the shocking, edgy challenges and the focus on the tattoo and art was back in the spotlight (as it should be). We were worried that this was just going to be a one off and that the drama was somehow going to work it’s way back onto the show this week. There’s only one way to see if it did and that’s to read on “Ink Master” fans.

Flash challenge: This week the focus is on contrast (the perfect balance between light and dark) and although there was no edgy, hardcore twist thrown at the artists to make them even more nervous then they already were the theme of the challenge was pretty broad. The artists have to tattoo someone’s “happy place” or an object that makes someone feel carefree. This could be anything and we certainly saw a lot of random objects tattoo – everything from a parrot to a stack of books.

Keith struggled a bit in the challenge, but not because he had a hard canvas. His machine malfunctioned, eating up quite a bit of his time. What was the most interesting was hearing some of the artists that have been in the middle of the pack like Jim, Gentle Jay and Keith all saying that they are tired of floating in the middle and are ready to show us what they got…. so did they?

The middle of the pack was still floating as Matti won the flash challenge and as it turns out this was a very important challenge to win.

Elimination tattoo: Contrast is still the name of the game and the style is neo-traditional where the artists had to tattoo either a lady or a man. Not only that but they would be paired up and tattooing a canvas at the same time (one artist to tattoo the lady portrait and one artist to tattoo the man portrait). This is where Matti’s flash challenge win advantage came into play because he got to choose which pairs would be working together and this is what he chose: Sausage/Melissa, Jim/Bubba, Ruck/Keith, Scott/Matti, Halo/Kyle and Lydia/Jay. He chose very even teams and once again wanted to go up against Scott (they faced off over the Wolverine tattoos last week).

Keith and Ruck had a very difficult time with their canvas as he was not only difficult when it came to the design, but their canvas ended up passing out and left with unfinished tattoos. While Keith decided to go back to the loft, Ruck wanted to show the judges something and he tattooed himself with the remaining time – something that many artists have said they would do on previous seasons, but no one has done before Ruck.

Judging: There were a lot of really strong tattoos, including Ruck’s tattoo that he did on himself, but the top three were no surprise: Matti, Scott and Sausage with Sausage taking the win. After Keith had a major meltdown (and an unfinished tattoo) Sausage chose for him to go into the bottom (he was also chosen as the bottom by the human canvas jury). the judges wanted to see Ruck and Bubba as well.

The judges have been saying that they really wanted to clear out what they considered to be dead weight in the competition and decides to not only eliminate Keith, but also Bubba. If you think that this is the end of the double eliminations, think again, because it looks like next week is going to be more of the same as the judges clean house. Episode grade: B+

If you are looking for more news on the show just head over to the link here. We also have been podcasting about the show all season long and you can listen to them on the site at the link here or download them over at itunes. And to top off our “Ink Master” coverage we have exclusive exit interviews with the eliminated contestants… so if you want to know what Randy and Roland have to say about their time on the show then check it out here.

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Photo: Spike TV

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