‘Ink Master: Rivals’ season 5, episode 2 review: Joe Manganiello, pinups and Joshua Hibbard’s comeback

Ink Master season 5Now that the bar has been set high with the “Ink Master: Rivals” premiere, we expect the same level every week. We had a little drama (not too over whelming that it took over the whole episode), some great tattoos (as well as some bad ones) and the judges were on point with their critiques. And to top it all off we have Joshua Hibbard and Jason Clay Dunn back in the game and at the top of the pack! Let’s see if this second episode delivered:

Flash challenge: Well it didn’t take long before the show started to cart out their big named celebrity guest judges. Last season we had Hugh Jackman come in midway through the season and this season it was “True Blood” star Joe Manganiello. Normally we aren’t a fan of guest judges that don’t have much to do with tattooing (as much as we did like seeing Hugh Jackman), but Joe fit in with the panel and had some great critiques.

The artists had to create live pin ups, by painting clothes on the models that would accentuate each woman perfectly. This is a challenge that Jason and Joshua have done before in season 3 and it looks like Jason has learned from his mistakes. Last time he ran out of time, but this time he put his focus into one pair of cut off jeans that looked like the real thing. We also loved Angel’s maid, and Ryan’s cook and over all we were really impressed with what the group put out.

Elimination tattoo: The designs that the artists created with the pin ups during the flash challenge are now being tattooed as actual pin ups. Normally there’s a winner of the flash challenge (and we would’ve given that win to Jason easily), but this time, no winner and no advantage to anyone. Pinups have proven to be the one style that many artists on this show have struggled with and Joshua has been one of them. In season 3 his pinup landed him in the bottom, so we were curious to see how he was going to do the second time around.

Judging: This was a rough challenge for some people: Tim’s tattoo was one of the roughest that we’ve seen when it comes to just straight up anatomy (the hands and face were the biggest issues), but LT, Don, Aaron… pretty much everyone there had issues. The one artist that easily stood above the rest was Joshua and the judges didn’t even need to deliberate to decide that he was the winner.

Elimination: The judges asked to see LT (chosen by human canvas jury), Robbie, and Tim, but they also asked for their rivals to come back to the elimination room. In the end we lost LT tonight, which wasn’t really that surprising based on what he’s produced so far and the experience that the other two have over him.

Watching the fight between Jayvo and Robbie and seeing how hurt each of these brother’s really are being at war was the first time that our heart completely broke watching this show. If there’s some way that these two can reconcile their differences before the end of the season we would be thrilled. Episode grade: A-

If you are looking for more news on “Ink Master:Rivals” then head over to the link here where you can check out previews, reviews, interviews with eliminated artists (our latest one is with Caroline Evans) and podcasts all about the show.

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Photo: Spike TV

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