‘Ink Master: Rivals’ season 5, episode 13 review: Monster DNA headphones, Tim Henedrix

Ink MasterWe are getting down to the end of our “Ink Masters: Rivals” season and now that there are no more rivals left in the cast, we are expecting a lot more focus on the tattoos and a lot less focus on the drama… and this is just the way we like it when it comes to this show.

Flash challenge: This week we have a very special flash challenge that involves one of our judges: Chris Nunez. The artists will be creating special limited designs, something that Chris has already done, for Monster DNA headphones. Chris’ design, along with the winner of the flash challenge will have their headphone designs available here or at Chris Nunez’s Handcrafted Tattoo and Art Gallery 3438 N Miami Ave, Miami, FL. if you want to get your hands on a pair – but you better act fast because they will only be available for ONE DAY!

The artists are being tested on precision as they create very cool designs for the  headphones and as they have been doing most of the season – they will be working in teams of two. With Cleen winning the last challenge, he had the power to assign all skulls, saying that he wanted to make sure he picked someone for himself that would guarantee a win. He’s been working with Erik so much this season that we were shocked to hear that he instead picked Mark as his partner. We also had Aaron and Cris, Jason and Erik working together in teams which we were a little surprised by. Why pair Erik and Jason who are both experts in Japanese style tattooing?

Mark and Cleen went straight for creating a design that included a monster and DNA strains, which makes perfect sense for this challenge (always please the clients even if they aren’t there,) but Cris and Aaron had exactly the same idea. Erik and Jason bit off more then they could chew and they didn’t finish. It was easy to see why Mark and Cleen won.

Elimination tattoo:  The artists have a guest judge this week and it’s honestly our favorite tattoo artists on the planet: Tim Hendricks. To test precision the artists will be doing portraits and what is interesting about this is that Jason Clay Dunn left in 6th place on portrait day in season 3 and here he is facing this dragon again. This is another head challenge as two canvases want the same portrait tattooed and have brought the subject of their portrait with them. As we see the portraits coming together we start to worry for some of the artists – it’s rough.

Judging: Mark and Erik went up against each other and Mark came out on top (it’s a comeback for Mark!). Between Cleen and Jason, Cleen was the winner and we worry that Jason may go home. When it comes to Cris and Aaron the judges had a hard time picking a winner so there was no winner. Also can Tim Hendricks be a judge every week? The way he dissected those tattoos was some of the best critiques we’ve ever heard on this show.

Erik, Aaron and Chris (chosen by the human canvas jury) ended up in the bottom and it came down to Cris and Aaron. We appreciated hearing Dave Navarro bring up the fact that Cris has said he’s “given up” on tattoos this season as a reason to send him home (if you have been reading our reviews over the years, you know how we feel about that), but Aaron ended up going home. Episode grade: B+

If you are looking for more news on “Ink Master: Rivals” then head oveto the link here where you can check out previews, reviews, interviews with eliminated artists (Caroline Evans, Elton “LT” Duarte, Jayvo Scott, Tim Lees, Ryan Eternal, Robbie Ripoll, Ty’Esha Reels, Angel Bauta, Julia Carlson, Emily Elegado, Joshua Hibbard and Don Peddicord) and podcasts all about the show (or head here if you want to download our podcasts from iTunes).

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