‘Ink Master’ season 8, episode 5 review: Nikki Simpson, Kelly Doty rise to the top

On the last episode of “Ink Master” season 8 there was a double elimination and we saw the women target Dave Robinowitz to go home, but is the women’s alliance going to be found out tonight? For the most part they hadn’t made it really obvious that they are working together, but if someone’s looking, there are enough hints to see that this cross-team alliance is picking off the competition.

Flash challenge: We are back to only one team being up for elimination and tonight we got a little bit more information when it comes to the team twist. It seems that Chris and Oliver are narrowing their teams down to the their top five picks each and we are thinking that once the top ten is chosen, that the teams will be dissolved and it will be every artist for themselves (unless you are part of an alliance of course). Tonight the artists will be working with electricity, which doesn’t really have anything to to with tattooing, but every season we have one challenge that looks to maim or possibly kill our artists. They will be using live wires to scorch designs.

This week team Nunez is up for elimination and the skill they are testing is legibility. Team Peck is calling the shots and gets to pick the style team Nunez will be focusing on and they chose under water marine life. This was a rough challenge over all and very few artists produced anything that was really remarkable outside of burning themselves multiple times. The only artist that really stood out to us was Kevin and his hammerhead shark. He even got shading in this piece! Outside of that, this challenge brought down the spirits of many of the artists and also us as a viewers. We want to see cool, fun pieces and this challenge was a let down. Kevin easily won this and it wasn’t even close.

Elimination tattoo: The men have picked up on the cross-team women’s alliance and with Kevin getting the skull pick he’s focused on getting Nikki out. Even without wanting to break up the women’s alliance, Nikki is strong so it’s a good choice to try to get her out early. Nikki lashes out at Kevin for suggesting going after her and we wonder if it will sway his decision.

For the elimination, they will have to tattoo water color water tattoos as a way to show legibility. So did Kevin decide to give Nikki a tough canvas? Surprisingly he gave some of the hardest tattoos to Tuff Tito and Sirvone and gave the ladies some of the easier pieces. Kevin also took the hardest tattoo of the day – this could either put him at the top of the pack or sink him depending on how he does. Is he looking to work with the ladies? When Sirvone calls Nikki out on her alliance, she admits it freely and says that Kevin isn’t part of it, but at the same time he’s not on their radar and that’s helpful for him.

Judging: Kevin picked the hardest tattoo and we thought he did a great job, even if the judges don’t agree with us. There were some rough tattoos and the judges couldn’t seem to agree on anything. Chris was getting defensive of his artists, and we can see just how invested he is in his team. It was a little strange to see Ryan jumping in a critiquing Sirvone’s tattoo with the judges and was surprised that they didn’t remind her that she’s not a judge.

Nikki and Kelly knocked this challenge out of the park and it’s clear that these two are going to be tough to beat. Nikki got the best tattoo of the day, but it was close with Kelly. The jury of peers selects Sirvone and the judges call down Kevin and Tuff Tito. So who went home? The judges were divided and it came down to Chris’ choice… and he chose for Sirvone to go home.

We have said this already, but we are having a tough time with the concept of only one team tattooing each week while the other team gets a pass, but more then that, it also gives them a pass on whatever the skill is that is being tested. While we wanted to give this episode a higher grade because we enjoyed the water color challenge, the electricity flash challenge was a dumpster fire and there wasn’t any art produced. Episode grade: C+

What did you think of tonight’s “Ink Master” elimination? Leave us a comment in the box below and tell us who you think the right person went home.

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