Last week on “Ink Master” season 4, we saw Gentle Jay and Melissa dodge a bullet as there was no elimination (you can thank Kyle Dunbar suddenly leaving the competition for that since they had to make up and episode somewhere after the two double eliminations in a row), so we are still down to our final six artists. Will Gentle Jay or Melissa be in trouble again tonight?
No Flash challenge: That’s right, there’s no flash challenge this week – instead the artist are randomly paired up and will have to tag team a tattoo (same canvas, same tattoo) as they switch out with each other every hour. The idea is to test the artists on “flexibility”, which is really the same thing as adaptability as far as we are concerned. The cool thing about this challenge is that they have open canvases who are will to have anything tattooed on them, but at the same time the judges reveal that they will be judged as a team.
When Melissa finds out that she’s paired with Gentle Jay she is clearly upset with the match, but what was cool about the situation was seeing Gentle Jay put on his positive pants and tell Melissa that they are not only going to do a great job, but that they should also put on a smile so that the client is confident in their abilities – totally great advice.
Watching the teams work together was interesting: You had Matti and Sausage working well together, Scott over Halo’s shoulder yapping in his ear every time it was his turn up to tattoo and Gentle Jay and Melissa working together like oil and water.
Judging: With Scott and Halo working together it was no surprise that they won tattoo of the day, but with the reward of nominating an artist to go into the bottom gone it really only gives them safety (the human canvas jury is also gone now). Matti and Sausage did a technically sound tattoo, but the judges hated the design. Guest judge and traditional tattoo artist Luke Wessman pointed out to Oliver and Chris that this isn’t a design challenge, but Oliver kept harping on the design – this is the norm for this judging panel, focus on aspects that have nothing to do with the week’s challenge. In the end Melissa and Gentle Jay were in the bottom for their elephant and were forced into a head to head competition.
Melissa vs Gentle Jay: They are both given a tattoo design by Luke (American traditional of course) and who ever produces the weaker tattoo goes home. Even though Melissa really didn’t need anyone’s help on this tattoo, Scott and Matti were helping her every step of the way, offering advice on anything and everything. After last week where Gentle Jay accused Scott of “tracing”, Scott was out for blood and wanted him gone from the game and Melissa winning was his ticket. Melissa and her team of advisors came out on top, but it was still pretty close and Gentle Jay was sent home.
We would’ve rather seen Gentle Jay and Melissa alone in a room together tattooing without the peanut gallery chiming in, because at this point in the competition we want to see who is really the better artist, but there seems to be a lot more strategy in play this season over years past. Episode grade: C-
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Photo: Spike TV