‘Ink Master’ season 4, episode 8 review: Was Kyle Dunbar booted over Chris Nunez fight?

Kyle DunbarThe past few episodes of “Ink Master” season 4 have brought us back to the roots of the show: Bad tattoos, great tattoos and all of the focus is back on the work and less on the drama. With that being said, that’s all out the window this week and the circus is back in town folks, so step right up and see the show!

After the judges critiques last episode, Melissa and Gentle Jay return to the loft with a message from Chris Nunez for Kyle Dunbar: He thought Kyle should’ve been in the bottom and could’ve justifiably gone home last week. Chris has said many times that he’s tough on Kyle because he feels that it produces better work out of him, but at the same time when we see Kyle bang out great tattoos (like his X-Men, Beast tattoo) it’s never given the praise that it should get. So we have to ask… is there something else going on between Kyle and Chris to cause this kind of tension?

Everyone has a breaking point and Kyle met his tonight after hearing that Chris “called him out” when he wasn’t there to defend himself, so when everyone arrives at the flash challenge Kyle wants answers. He calls Chris out for what he said and things quickly escalate as Kyle says that he could “tattoo circles around Chris” and Chris says that Kyle is “awful” at tattooing. Kyle charges across the room at Chris and things get physical, but it doesn’t stop there. Kyle and Chris are ushered outside with the rest of he judges and Kyle pushes Chris again. So did Kyle end up getting to stay in the competition or was he booted? He is no longer in the competition, but it was unclear whether or not he was removed or he decided to leave himself (we would suspect that if he didn’t decide to leave himself he would’ve been kicked out for getting physical since reality shows pretty much have a zero tolerance policy on that.)

Flash challenge: The theme of the day is working with negative space and for this challenge  Halo got to pick the teams since he won the week before. This was a pretty great advantage since they would be working in pairs and one person would be on their own. Halo chose to team up with Scott (a very popular strategy since the judges love him) and put Sausage on his own hoping that he will flail. In a surprise to no one, Halo and Scott win (and they totally deserved the win).

Elimination tattoo: Black and grey was the style for the negative space challenge with the tattoos having to depict demons. Halo and Scott hand out the golden skulls and they saddle Sausage with the worst one, because tonight was clearly pick on Sausage night (the guys are clearly threatened by Sausage… as they should be).

Judging: The guest judge this week was Rob Zombie and it was refreshing to see someone like him on the panel. He gave insightful critiques and was respectful when he gave them (something some of the other judges could learn to do). Even though Sausage got a really difficult canvas, he came out on top as the winner and chose Lydia to go into the bottom, while the human canvas jury chose Melissa and the judges called down Halo. We thought that Lydia was going to rock out this tattoo since this is her speciality, but as we’ve learned on this show, whenever someone says that, they go home and that’s what happened tonight.

We were bummed to see Kyle leave, but clearly his spirit was broken after getting raked over the coals for good and bad tattoos – there was no way that we could see Chris  letting Kyle win and everyone knew it.  We are still enjoying the season, but it’s time to get some new judges in, or at the very least get these guys to focus on the tattoos and not on stirring up drama. Episode Grade: C –

Want more “Ink Master” season 4 scoop (including exit interviews with all of the eliminated contestants) then head over to the link here. We podcast about the show each week so if you missed some of the episodes and want to catch up then you can listen to them at CarterMatt at the link here or download the podcasts over at iTunes.

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Photo: Spike TV

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