‘Ink Master’ season 7, episode 6 review: Matti Hixson tries new strategy; Sarah Miller arrives

Matti -Last time on “Ink Master” we  lost our first veteran artist in St. Marq, but we gained Jime Litwalk and he’s going to be hard to beat. We also saw Megan Jean’s alliance with Christian and Anthony splinter after she gave a good canvas to Cleen Rock One.

Tonight, there was a moment where it looked like Megan Jean was actually going to leave the competition, though this little tease in the preview turned out to be rather misleading. While she admitted to having a bad day stemming from having to carry the weight in the Flash Challenge with Christian, she eventually told the judges that she wanted to stay. That’s great, given that she had the best tattoo of the day and one of the few to not taken to task by the panel.

She did have a nice advantage in that surrealism is something that she understands and specializes in by and large. Sarah Miller arrived from all the way back in season 2, and she introduced this concept that some of the artists didn’t understand. There was something very entertaining about Cleen Rock One in particular running around like a bull in a china shop, trying to figure out what a “surrealist female” even meant, let alone how to implement it.

There’s not too much to talk about from the standpoint of the elimination tonight, mostly because it was pretty obvious from the halfway point of the episode that Alex Rockoff would be going home. He seems like a great artist for his style, but his decision-making got him in trouble a few times over. His problem wasn’t that he used his girlfriend as a model for his tattoo; it was the angle that he drew the face from that made it look almost alien, while many of the other women featured in the tattoos had much more of a classic appearance. This is what the judges were seemingly going for. We feel for him since he seems like he’s got a good heart and loves what he does, but everyone from the human canvas jury to the judges thought his time was up. Also, this was one of the few times this season it felt like the canvas voted for having the worst tattoo wasn’t really coming to the defense of the artist.

What’s a little more interesting to us about this episode is the smart strategy that Matti Hixson came up with on this episode to work with Anthony and Christian, and try to eliminate some of the other vets. After he and Anthony won the Flash Challenge, they targeted people like Sarah, Cleen, and Sausage, though they failed at getting the latter in the bottom. (Sausage has been really strong so far this season.) We do like what Matti’s doing here in theory, since the veterans seem more out for themselves, and if he can get them out, he may feel like he has a better shot in the later rounds against newbies who aren’t used to the pressure.

Also, we like both Matti and Sausage and while they may not like it, we actually want both of them to stick around for a long time.

The somewhat-ho-hum Flash Challenge and a predictable elimination keep this from being a great “Ink Master” episode; yet, at the same time we did find some of the strategy stuff super-interesting, and Megan Jean’s wavering passion for this competition is something to watch. Episode grade: B-.

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