‘Ink Master’ season 7, episode 7 review: A stunning elimination over political portraits

Cleen -Going into this season of “Ink Master,” we really thought that there was a huge advantage that was going to be coming as a result of some of the returning artists coming in so late in the competition. As a result of this, they were going to be able to not have the same sort of mental fatigue, and would be able to avoid some potential roadblocks from a style that they may not be altogether familiar with.

However, what we are realizing now instead is that there could actually be something to being around in the competition from the beginning, since it enables you a chance to really work through some bumps in the road here and there while some of the weaker artists go home.

Maybe we’re just grasping at straws to figure out a reason why Sarah Miller is out after just two appearances on the show, in one of the most stunning eliminations in “Ink Master” history. Going into this season, we legitimately felt like she was going to win, and that having this late start would give her an easy path as arguably one of the greatest artists to not win their original season. Instead, she went out on black-and-white portraits, something she excels at, over what really amounts to be over-thinking a concept.

The idea here was to create a portrait of a well-known political figure, and she made her piece around Bill Clinton so dark, it was almost unrecognizable. She explained to the judges that this was in part due to her experience with lighter portraits over time, but they didn’t tend to agree. Details were lost in their mind because of this, and with nobody creating a really terrible tattoo this week, it was enough to have her gone.

Will we understand if some out there thought Cleen Rock One should’ve gone home instead? Sure. He probably had a few more mistakes in precision (the theme of the week), but his portrait as a whole was much easier to look at due to the shading.

These skulls were handed out this time by (ironically) Cleen himself, who seemed to be puffing out his chest somewhat in giving himself a challenging tattoo because Jesse Smith came in and intentionally chose something that was the complete opposite of his style. Why? He wanted to prove that he could it, and it worked.

Overall, this was a very dramatic “Ink Master” episode in between the elimination of Sarah, Christian and Anthony kicking Megan Jean out of the alliance (which they’ve threatened to do for quite some time now), and Christian proclaiming that the judges give Cleen a “pass,” which we’re not that sure of since he’s been in the bottom now two straight weeks. Episode Grade: A-.

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