‘Ink Master’ season 7 premiere review: St. Marq returns to compete, Megan Jean Morris shines

St Marq Ink Masterst marqIt has only been a few months since we wrapped up the last season of “Ink Master”, but the tattoo competition is back and we have a new group of tattoo artists that are competing for the title. Eight new artists are entering the ring tonight along with eight veterans including the infamous St. Marq from season 6 and Sarah Miller from season 2 (who we still feel that she should’ve won her season, but that’s just our humble opinion). Are you ready for “Ink Master” season 7 to begin? Let’s jump in and see what the premiere has in store for us.

First off we have a twist this season: Eight newbies are entering the game tonight and while we were hoping that the 8 veterans were going to be competing against the new comers throughout the whole season it doesn’t look like that’s how it will be playing out. When one of the new artists gets eliminated from the competition, a veteran will enter the game giving them twice the advantage. Not only will they know the competition since they’ve been through it before, but they will also miss a few weeks of competing. Not exactly the competition we were hoping to see this season, but we are still interested to see how it all works out.

Flash challenge: They start the new artists off sketching a nude model and although some of the contestants are saying that this is “crazy”, it really shouldn’t be since this show has thrown nude models at the contestants every season. The challenge is designed to test the artists fundamentals and it’s divided into 3 different rounds: Complete one round and you move onto the next and they have 4 hours to complete all 3 rounds. Round one is creating a full body sketch of the model and we love this challenge because it forces the artists to show that they can actually draw right out of the gate.

Round 2 forces the artists to put together a lining machine and a shading machine and have it in perfect working order before moving on to round 3. The two artists that are leading the pack in this challenge is Christian Buckingham and Megan Jean Morris, but the first artist to get their machines running is Christian and he’s off to the last round. We get that an “Ink Master” should know their machines, but at the same time it’s kind of like asking a filmmaker to not only know how to shoot a movie, but that they should also be able to assemble a camera from scratch.

Round 3 has the artists tattooing their sketches onto pig skin and while most of the artists made it to the third round, Picasso and Ashley couldn’t get their tattoo machines assembled.  There were a few nice sketches, but a lot of the tattoos were rough. The two that really stood out to us were Christian and Megan – these are the two to watch out for this season. So it should surprise no one that Christian is the winner of the first flash challenge and has the first skull pick.

Elimination tattoo: The artists entered studio and see that there are 9 stations instead of 8 – so who is the first veteran? It’s St. Marq and he comes with an advantage. All veterans get to chose the tattoos that will be completed in the elimination round and St. Marq chooses the seven deadly sins, done in black and grey and using a shading machine only. Christian tries to throw St. Marq a tough tattoo, but he’s able to convince his canvas to change his difficult idea – Corey on the other hand was handed a head tattoo and couldn’t get her to change it.

Judging: The judges love Christian and Megan (and we do too), but for such a difficult challenge there were a lot of really amazing tattoos. There were a few people that had a rough time with this challenge and one of those people were St. Marq! The judges actually said that this was the worst tattoo he’s ever done on this show. Best tattoo of the day went to Megan – and we have to agree. Her tattoo is just incredible! Oliver brings St. Marq, Ashley and Corey back down to the elimination room with the human canvas jury picking St. Marq as worst tattoo of the day. So was St. Marq the first person gone from the competition? Of course not! He’s great drama and the show would be crazy to send him home this early, so instead we lost Corey.

We are not that excited about this twist and honestly think that this show doesn’t need a gimmick like this. The foundation of the show is really solid and it’s what their viewers have enjoyed for years – it’s the artists that make this show as good as it is. It reminds us of the show “Beauty and The Geek” where the concept was to pair a beauty and a geek together for a season to learn from each other and the last season of the show they threw in a twist where the beauties were against the geeks leaving fans unhappy with such a major change. We are not saying that is going to happen here since fans of “Ink Master” (like us) will watch anything they want to throw at us, but so far we aren’t sold on the twist. That being said, we really like this cast of newcomers and think there are some standouts already to go far in the competition! Episode grade: B-

What did you think of the premiere of “Ink Master” season 7 and do you have a favorite to win? Leave us a comment below and share your thoughts. If you are looking for more scoop on “Ink Master” then head on over to the link here where we have previews, reviews, podcasts and interviews with the artists for season 7 and all past seasons. Also, if you want more great TV news sent your way then be sure to sign up for our weekly CarterMatt newsletter. It comes out every weekend and in addition to getting the top stories of the week, our subscribers also enjoy some first look scoop. (Photo: Spike TV)

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