‘Ink Master’ season 8, episode 12 review: A sit-down with Ryan Ashley Malarkey, Gian Karle Cruz, top 6

We are creeping up to the end of “Ink Master” season 8 with just a few episodes left and we only have 6 artists in the game! Last time we lost BoneFace in the elimination and Sketchy Lawyer threw in the towel after the stress of the competition got to him.

Tonight … well, let’s just say that we had something completely different. This wasn’t your standard episode, and nothing really happened in terms of moving the competition forward. Instead, we had what was basically the “Ink Master” equivalent of a recap show, which we do get sometimes on “Survivor” and other reality programs that know they’re going to have a week during the season where not a lot of people are watching for whatever reason. This time around, it’s because of the Presidential Election.

What we saw tonight were some individual segments that looked back at how many of the artists are doing this season, and also a little bit more about them as people, how long they’ve been tattooing, and also what they think of the competition. Ryan Ashley Malarkey’s segment was interesting from the vantage point of hearing precisely just how she’s managed to come so far despite less experience than the other artists, and the segment of Gian Karle Cruz was a reminder of how much of a force he’s been. There were mentions aplenty of the women’s alliance, easily the most dominant one of the season, and a little bit of strategy talk to go along with it.

Specifically, we do think that the segment with Nate Beavers was interesting mostly in that we heard more about his whole idea to play the middle of the game, and not try too hard to stand out as a target. Do we think that there is some merit to what he was saying here? Absolutely, since you don’t want to be a target in some of the skull picks unless you absolutely have to be. However, at the same time we do think that his primary issue is that he is being judged at the end of the show, and unless he completely delivers the greatest tattoo in “Ink Master” history (provided he makes it there), are the judges really going to reward him for playing it safe almost the entire season?

Episode grade: C+. As much as we’re trying to gussy up this recap episode, it was still a recap episode with a ton of footage that we’ve seen already this season. Granted, it was edited and put together about as well as you can possibly hope that it would be, but there’s only so much that you can do to make this interesting.

Who do you think is going to win “Ink Master” season 8? leave us a comment in the box below.

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