‘Ink Master’ season 7, episode 2 review: Cleen Rock One enters the picture; also, ‘rules’

Cleen -The second episode of “Ink Master” season 7 brought a good deal of entertainment to the table, at least if your idea of great entertainment happens to be watching people shout at one another over things for an extended period of time. St. Marq continues to have the largest ego in the galaxy, and tonight brought us the second veteran whose ego is at least of a similar size to is: Cleen Rock One.

When it comes to Cleen, we get where the confidence comes from. he’s one of the best artists to not win their first season, and he really should have. He basically lost on the basis of following the theme, but in this episode he came back specifying both the style and a theme that he wanted everyone else to follow for the Elimination Challenge: Hot rods and choppers. Alex Rockoff and Ashley Velazquez won the Flash Challenge, and they at least tried to do to him here what they did to St. Marq last week: Give him a canvas that would be really tough. As it turns out, though, this canvas was a huge fan and was just happy to have a tattoo anywhere that the guy specified would be right for him.

Cleen pretty easily won this task, and after his disaster a week ago St. Marq did stage a little bit of a recovery here. We’re not sure the struggles in his own style humbled him, but it did focus him a little more on doing good work. Ironically, Ashley and Alex couldn’t even succeed in picking their own canvases enough to stay out of the bottom. They made some technically errors, and ironically Ashley ended up giving herself the most difficult canvas out of everyone.

Now, we circle back to the subject of theme. Through two episodes, Cris Gherman has specified a particular narrative: He grew up in the shadow of communism, and as a result of that he wants to live a life in which he can constantly break rules. Therefore, he showed little interest in following them his entire run on the show. In the Flash Challenge last week he intentionally didn’t try that hard to win, and tonight he disregarded the style because he didn’t want to give an older canvas a ton of bright colors on his skin. He actually showed here that he is probably a great guy to get a tattoo from in life, since he’ll try to please you first and foremost; however, this made him pretty bad for the show, since there are certain guidelines the judges are looking for and his disinterest in following those had him booted.

We could now go on for a minute or two about a lack of consistent judging given that Kruseman didn’t always follow the rules last season, but we suppose that the point of view of Oliver, Dave, and Chris is as follows:

1. If you don’t follow the rules and your tattoo is bad-to-mediocre, you go home.

2. If you don’t follow the rules and your tattoo is awesome, we’ll just ignore it.

All in all, a fairly decent episode. It at least gave us plenty to talk about. Episode Grade: B.

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