While there may not be a lot of fights happening on this season of “Ink Master,” tonight brought back something that has been tired-and-true for as long as this show has been around: People arguing with a human canvas. It made for some really good television, but at the same time it may have also set up what has to be one of the more predictable eliminations we’ve seen in some time.
Flash challenge: This was another big win for Chris Blinston! Line work is the name of the game this week, and for the most part, the contestants did a pretty good job. Drama-wise, there really wasn’t much other than listening to self-proclaiming “tattoo god” St. Marq talking about how everyone is lucky that he didn’t win, even though we probably would have had him in the bottom three. Also, what was with him being so dismissive of Marisa LaRen and Katie McGowan right away?
Elimination tattoo: Mike Rubendall came in as a guest judge, which is tough given that he is a complete Ink Master of Japanese design. He came up with a template, and then everyone else more or less had to follow this outline to create the perfect koi fish. The goal of Chris was simple: Try to test the black-and-gray artists like St. Marq, and really push him to the limit. What we don’t really understand is giving Kito Talbert, who has been in danger before, a really difficult canvas. Was this just an insurance policy in case something went sideways, that Chris knew he could beat?
Judging: It was clear almost from the moment that the artists got up to deliberation that Kito was in big trouble. His tattoo was not complete, and the parts that were did not get a warm reception. He wasn’t the only one who did struggle; Dave Clarke (one of the quieter artists in the competition) had a strange design, and Katie also failed to finish … but she may have been spared by Big Ceeze and Marisa struggling.
The human canvas jury had an easy decision in naming Kito’s tattoo the worst, while Matt O’Baugh won with a gorgeous fish that really captured the soul of Japanese tattoos. As for the exit, it was Kito. No real debate here. While his canvas was probably the most impossible person to deal with this entire season, he still struggled with a drawing and inspiring confidence to make the canvas relax. A fun episode as a whole, but a boring end. Episode grade: B-.
What did you think of tonight’s elimination and are you excited to see a little romance on the show? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you think. If you are looking for more news on the show including reviews, previews, podcasts and interviews with the eliminated artists then head on over to the link here and let us be your guide on all things “Ink Master”. Also, if you want to have more great TV news sent straight to your inbox every week then be sure to sign up for our CarterMatt newsletter. (Photo: Spike TV)