‘Ink Master’ season 8, episode 9 review: Was Sketchy Lawyer, Mike McAskill, or Nate Beavers eliminated?

On the last episode of “Ink Master” season 8 we saw the female alliance get their first casualty of war: They lost Gia Rose. At least she can say that she went out during what is easily considered to be the hardest tattooing challenge on every season. We were hoping that with this being the top ten that this would be the end of the teams, but it’s not. At least everyone is up for elimination this week and no one is sitting it out.

Elimination tattoo: There is no flash challenge this week, so we are jumping right in with an elimination tattoo! There is also no jury of peers and the elimination is all up to the judges. The artists are being tested on adaptability and to showcase this talent, they will each have to create a 12 hour tattoo for the canvases head. The left side of the brain handles logical thought and the right side handles creativity and that is the concept the artists have to work with. They will tattoo one side of the head in 6 hours, then return the next day for the other side and 6 more hours.

With Gian and Kelly winning the last two tattoos of the day for each of their teams, they get to assign all of the skulls this week – which should be interesting since Kelly wants to give the women easier canvases, where as Gian is gunning for the women’s alliance. Gian knows that this isn’t the time to shoot at the women, so he suggests that each of them pick two people they don’t want to target and run from there. Kelly of course protects Nikki and Ryan while Gian protects Sketchy Lawyer and Eric. So who gets targeted? Nate and BoneFace.

Right when we started to figure out precisely who was going to be the best and worst of this challenge, the judges threw in a curveball. They had everyone switch off canvases, which threw Kevin in particular through more of a hurdle given how the canvas he was previously assigned ended up quitting, and he therefore had to work with someone else. Kelly was chastised for working her canvas too hard, but after looking at the quality of her work, it was pretty darn clear that she wasn’t going to be going anywhere.

Judging: Ryan Ashley Malarkey end up scoring a victory for performing well on both of her different head tattoos. We could sit here and go into a lengthy rant regarding all of the commentary about women vs. men in that tattoo industry, but we figure that’ll just result in an internet comment war. So let’s jump over that and get into some of the people in jeopardy of going home. Sketchy used script on his second head tattoo in a way that caused him to be accused of taking the easy road out.

The bottom three for the night were Sketchy Lawyer, Mike McAskill, and Nate Beavers, who were all criticized heavily following the judging and in all honesty, we didn’t have any clue who the judges were going to pick to send home. The judges weren’t even in agreement with a few minutes left. There were problems with all three of the artists’ creations, and this ultimately came down to preference. Take Oliver Peck’s opinion on the mandala. Mike ended up being the person who went home, mostly because the average of his two tattoos, in the minds of the judges, were worse than Sketchy or Nate’s.

Episode grade: B+. We certainly think the drama was there tonight, and with difficult challenges like this, we’re always going to give the artists more credit than usual.

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

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