‘Ink Master: Rivals’ finale: Cleen Rock One, Jason Clay Dunn, Erik Siuda face off: Who won season 5?

Ink Master“Ink Master: Rivals” has been an epic journey. When we first heard about the rivals twist we were skeptical since it seemed to be a season that was going to focus on drama and less on tattoos, but we were pleasantly surprised that it didn’t roll out this way. Of course there was drama, but there was a way better focus on the tattoos and some of the best judging from our panel since season 1.

We know you want to find out who the winner of “Ink Master” season 5 is, but before we get to that, let’s check out some highlights from the finale, and judge the back pieces from our finalists: Jason Clay Dunn, Erik Siuda, and Cleen Rock One.

Joshua Hibbard: Since the big pot smoking “scandal”, Joshua has been laying pretty low when it comes to actually talking about it. We expected him to talk about it tonight, but there wasn’t really much focus on it which was a total let down.

Emily Elegado: She is easily the most controversial contestant the show has ever had and always has something to say whether you want to hear it or not. What was interesting about her word exchange tonight with Ty’Esha and Joshua was that she seemed extremely nervous – something that we have never seen from her.

And now let’s talk about the back pieces. We are not a fan of the whole idea of the rivals picking the theme of the other artists back piece since this is a time that we want to see everyone’s absolute best. Everyone was given a theme by their rivals that they are all weaker in, so we really aren’t sure what to expect with these tattoos:

Jason Clay Dunn (New School): We weren’t surprised that Jason chose to infuse his Japanese style into the new school tattoo, but we wished that he didn’t do a tiger since it seems like all we’ve seen this season are tigers, geisha’s and dragons out of Jason. Although he had a few trip ups with his canvas (she decided not to continue after her first session), the tattoo was incredible. He easily killed this final tattoo and if he doesn’t win it will be a travesty.

Erik Siuda (color realism): He inked a skull growing into a heart with a raven and roses and while it was a pretty great tattoo, there was so much going on in it that it felt overwhelming. The rose he inked was spectacular though and he clearly has a lot of talent.

Cleen Rock One (color realism): He went with a skull as well, but added some hot rod stuff since the canvas is a mechanic. While Erik went overboard on his back piece, we were surprised that there wasn’t more to Cleen’s tattoo. Also, it didn’t feel like a color realism tattoo at all.

The artist with the over all votes all season was Jason Clay Dunn!!!! A bit of a shocker to us but so well deserved so he moved to the final two. As for who went with Jason, it was Cleen Rock One and we lost Erik.

So who won “Ink Master: Rivals” season 5? It was a shocker since the edit has been that Cleen was a clear winner since the beginning, but Jason Clay Dunn won!!! This was a well deserved win and for the first time in a few seasons, “Ink Master” was actually able to shock us with the winner! What a fantastic season – Congratulations Jason! 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 (Caroline Evans, Elton “LT” Duarte, Jayvo Scott, Tim Lees, Ryan Eternal, Robbie Ripoll, Ty’Esha Reels, Angel Bauta, Julia Carlson, Emily Elegado, Joshua Hibbard, Don Peddicord, Aaron Is, and Cris Element) and podcasts all about the show (or head here if you want to download our podcasts from iTunes).

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