We love to do reality show rankings here at CarterMatt, but we have never done one for “Ink Master”, so it’s time to remedy this. There have been some incredible artists on this show and brilliant winners that deserve further recognition for their achievements. This is a very difficult reality show to be part of and as we’ve seen over the years there is an incredible amount of stress that comes with this competition.
We haven’t really seen the winners of this show come back or be part of the process since winning and while we’ve always said we would love to see the winners come back as a guest judge down the line, that hasn’t happened yet. So we are here to celebrate the winners of “Ink Master” in our own way and that’s with our rankings. This is purely for fun and is based off of a few different criteria: Over all body of work, completing tattoos, doing the challenge as specified by the panel and how many mistakes were made. Let’s see where everyone shakes out.
9. Anthony Michaels (season 7): We really love Anthony’s work and would get tattooed by him any day of the week, but the fact that he had two unfinished tattoos in the finale and won is still something that still doesn’t make a lot of sense to us. For us the challenge has to be complete – the other artists completed the challenge.
8. Scott Marshall (season 4): Scott was a brilliant tattoo artist who created some amazing pieces. He was also the first artist to realize that this competition could be played with an alliance! It was such a smart strategy and we had never seen anything like it before he came into the game and turned the competition on it’s head. Without it, we aren’t sure that he would’ve actually won since he had a few tattoos that had some mistakes in it (statue of liberty missing a spike, a horse with no ears, backwards flag), but that aside he created some beautiful pieces.
7. Jason Clay Dunn (season 5): We have seen Jason on the show more then once and he was the first returnee to win “Ink Master” which was well deserved as the other master canvases didn’t come close to what Jason did. We were worried that the stress of the competition was going to be too much for him, so seeing Jason win the show was a double win in our opinions.
6. Dave Kruseman (season 6): Dave may not have been able to produce a solid portrait, but his American traditional work was outstanding. His finale back piece was the first master canvas we’ve seen that was all American traditional and it was one of our favorite master canvases to date.
5. Steve Tefft (season 2): While there were many that thought that Sarah Miller should have won this season, the win actually went to Steve Tefft and because there was a lot of controversy around this win many forget just how amazing Steve is. He is one of the more versatile artists that have been on this show and that’s really what you need if you want to be the “Ink Master”.
4. Old Town Ink (season 9): Structurally this was a different season because it was about shops rather than individuals, but the pair of Bubba Irwin and DJ Tambe proved to be very formidable. DJ is arguably one of the most creative artists in the series’ history, while Bubba improved every week and showed an unstoppable work ethic and drive.
3. Ryan Ashley Malarkey (season 8): What Ryan did throughout the entire season was incredible, in particular when you consider her small amount of experience in comparison to the other artists. She never let anything hold her back, and more than that, she also showed herself to be one of the greatest strategists the game has ever seen. the women’s alliance is the not the reason that she won, but it proved effective both in getting the edge in challenges and throwing some of the other competitors off their game.
2. Joey Hamilton (season 3): Joey’s Catwoman tattoo is still our favorite tattoo of any season from any artist on this show ever. He’s incredibly talented, very likable and someone that was upfront and honest throughout what was a pretty weird season.
1. Shane O’Neill (season 1): There’s no one that compares to Shane O’Neill for us. When he won season one of “Ink Master” he set the bar impossibly high and we have been waiting for that one artist to kick him out of the top spot ever since. Many thought he was only a master in black and grey, but when he was challenged to showcase his color tattoos he killed it.
Now it’s your turn! Leave us a comment in the box below and tell us how you would rank the winners of “Ink Master” and who you think is the greatest Ink Master of all time. If you want more scoop on “Ink Master” — including a review of the finale tonight — then head on over to the link here. (Photo: Spike)