‘Ink Master’ season 8, episode 10 review: Eric Gonzalez, Kevin La Roy’s hourglass battle; Von Miller guest-judges

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On last week’s episode of “Ink Master” season 8 we saw the judges divided in who to send home and it really was a tough decision. There were some problems with the tattoos in the bottom, but the artists in the bottom were all quite strong. This is where the competition gets difficult, because not only do you have a group of fantastic artists, but the team twist is still in play so Chris and Oliver will continue to pick their own team members for the win and Dave will be the deciding factor.

Flash challenge: The masterminds of “Ink Master” have managed to include a flash challenge the past few seasons that incorporates one of our favorite muscle cars – the Dodge Charger. This season is no different as the artists were forced to use only Sharpies in order to create the most interesting, innovative designs possible. It was Team Peck vs. Team Nunez directly in this challenge, and while the former team had one fewer team member, they somehow were able to pull this off. Maybe having fewer people meant fewer cooks in the kitchen, and this ended up working. We don’t always love product placement, but we’re cool with it when it’s an idea like this with the Charger front and center.

Elimination tattoo: Team Peck had an advantage for a detail-oriented challenge that was all about one thing: Hourglasses. The challenge here wasn’t so much having to tattoo the object itself, but instead trying to stay innovative while dealing with tough human canvases. In particular, we had one canvas who refused to have his tattoo anywhere other than his rear end. A client on this show does often make or break an artist.

Judging: Super Bowl MVP Von Miller (who really seems to be everywhere these days) was a guest judge, which makes some sense given that he’s got about a billion tattoos. For the most part, these tattoos were pretty solid, and there wasn’t a complete disaster of the bunch. This is especially true for Team Peck, who really did make the most of their advantage. Ryan Ashley Malarkey end up winning tattoo of the day, and we’re really starting to think based on recent momentum / edit prominence that she’s going to win the whole thing.

The decision tonight seemed to us to be between two artists: Kevin La Roy and Eric Gonzalez. We especially felt for Eric given that he was tattooing sick for one, and he was also stuck with the infamous butt tattoo from a guy who didn’t want to move it. He simply didn’t have the focus or the time to make this what he wanted, while Kevin just had a series of little errors throughout his tattoo that made it feel unpolished. We can see a case for either artist going home, and it’s with that in mind that we personally would look at cumulative results. Eric’s been a stronger performer throughout the season in terms of praise from the judges, and we felt like he should be safe as a result of that. Kelly Doty struggled somewhat, but her placement in “danger” felt more like a red herring.

In the end, though, the judges punished Eric by eliminating him for having the worst tattoo of the day, and that mattered more than cumulative results. Do you agree? Well, we feel like it’ll be controversial yet again for many of you watching out there. Episode Grade:B+.

What did you think of this week’s episode and did you agree with judges? Leave us a comment in the box below. If you want to read more reviews, previews and interviews with the eliminated artists then head on over to the link here. (Photo: Spike TV)

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