We cannot imagine a more epic episode of “Ink Master” than the one that we got tonight. In some ways, the first Elimination Challenge was just a means to an end, a setup to what was an excellent face-off between some of the biggest artists of the season.
Here’s what happened. The artists teamed up in pairs to do good and bad angel wings in the first challenge, which proved to be rather tough for Jime Litwalk and Sausage. The former just hasn’t been in a groove since he arrived this season, while Sausage has just been in a little bit of a rut the past two episodes. For redemption, the two ended up getting to choose an artist to do battle with. What was the downside? The artist who was challenge got to pick the tattoo and the style.
Of course, Sausage picked Matti Hixson, and the two did battle with a zombie head. This was the battle that every person out there wanted to see from the moment they were both cast on this season, and it’s only fair that the two got a chance to fight it out one last time this season.
Meanwhile, Jime picked Cleen Rock One, which wasn’t so much a rivalry as a battle of respect. Of course, Jime was hoping for something super-artistic, and Cleen decided instead to prove that he could do photo-realism in a way that he couldn’t the first time.
The judges picked the two people who advanced, and the two who went home. All of these tattoos were really great, so there weren’t any obvious picks as to who to eliminate. Wasn’t that refreshing? We lost both Sausage and Jime, and we never saw that coming going into this. Still, this was an excellent episode of the show, one with more than just a shock exit. There were great tattoos, controversial decisions, and it’s certainly making a good case to bring back more returning artists down the road. Episode Grade: A-.
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