‘Ink Master’ season 8, episode 2 review: Can Oliver Peck, Chris Nunez be impartial judges?

Ink MasterLast time on “Ink Master” season 8 the new artists were thrown right into the fire, but we wouldn’t expect anything less from this show. They love to raise the bar each season with how difficult the challenges are and this year is no exception. With the Oliver Peck/Chris Nunez tattoo bloodletting that happened on the premiere behind us, now we can jump into the two teams as they battle it out for the brass ring. Will it be team Nunez or team Peck that will lose their first artist this week? Let’s see how it all shakes out.

Flash challenge: We were wondering how the judging was going to go with Chris and Oliver being judges and team leaders and tonight Dave explained how it’s going to roll out. Only one team will be up for elimination and it will be artists on the same team that will battle each other not be eliminated.

This week the skill the artists will be highlighting their composition. Each team will tattoo three back pieces, on three canvases at the same time. To make this even more challenging, when placed side by side, all three back pieces must create one interlocking image (too bad none of these teams have St. Marq since that is his specialty).  As if this is not enough pressure, the canvases they are tattooing are police officers and fire fighters. The team that wins is safe and assigns the skulls for the opposing team giving them a great advantage to knock out some of the threats.

We were really curious to see who was going to be designing the pieces since Nunez and Peck are mentors, but that wasn’t really clear. Instead we saw the coaches guiding them on ideas on how to make the three pieces come together as one cohesive piece. One thing we saw that was pretty telling was when Gia told Boneface to just “watch over everything”. Why is he not included in any of the tattooing?

Team Nunez tattooed three horses with a background that helped to connect them while team Peck did three saints. Of course Peck and Nunez liked their own teams designs and had criticism of the other teams work and we wonder if they are really going to be able to be objective after all. After Peck and Nunez chose their own teams for the win we realize that this is going to be a season of Dave Navarro being the deciding factor. Team Peck wins the flash challenge and Nunez has his first loss.

Elimination tattoo: Team Peck not only gets to hand out the skulls, but they will also form a jury of peers who will get to choose one person to put up for elimination. Nunez’s team has to tattoo Medusa and there ares some tough Medusa’s that the canvases want – like a color portrait Medusa and a full body Medusa! Team Peck gives the best artists the hardest canvases while giving easy ones to the weak players in hopes to keep weak artists in the game longer. Tuff Tito got the full body Medusa and we now know who team Peck is scared of. Sirvone on the other hand team Peck thinks is a weak artist so when they see that his stencil is on backwards, they help him catch the mistake to keep him in the game longer. It’s a strategy we have never seen on the show before and it’s pretty smart… as long as Sirvone is actually weak and it’s way too early to know.

Judging: There were some rough tattoos in the bunch, but Tito getting saddled with that full body Medusa really did him in. That being said there were some really beautiful tattoos and the women came out on top! It was between Nikki and Kelly, but they loved Sketchy Lawyer’s piece as well. With Kelly taking the time to not only produce a gorgeous Medusa, but also including a man turning to stone, she won this challenge with ease. Who ended up in the bottom? The peer jury picked Tuff Tito while the judges called out Carolyn, and Kevin. While we thought that Tuff Tito was in real trouble, the judges sent home Carolyn.

After looking at all the tattoos of Carolyn’s against Tuff Tito’s we could see where the judges were coming from with their pick to send her home. What we found to be the best moment of this judging was Oliver saying that he could easily target Tuff Tito and send home one of Nunez’s stronger artists, but that they agreed not to play the game like that. We were happy to hear that, because we really didn’t know how competitive the judges were going to be. Episode grade: B

What did you think of this episode of “Ink Master” and are you enjoying season 8 so far? Leave a comment in the box below and share your thoughts. If you want to read more reviews, previews and interviews with the artists then head on over to the link here. Also, if you want more great TV news sent your way then be sure to sign up for our weekly CarterMatt newsletter. (Photo: Spike TV)

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