Tuesday night, Ink Master season 9 episode 3 delivered what was the best episode of the season (we know we are still early on, but man was this a great episode), mostly because it served as a reminder of the differences between doing great work in a tattoo shop and doing it in the competition with the serious time constraints.
This episode brought the end of Black Anchor Collective on the show, a shock given that entering this season they were by far the most famous shop. They also had two artists in Aric and Carlos who have a ton of experience. Yet, the two of them lost to Pinz and Needles, who surprised everyone with dominating the Elimination Tattoo Challenge with a win that frankly wasn’t even close. They don’t have the experience that some other shops have, but they did enter it with a sense of positivity and camaraderie that is starting to make us think that the two of them could go far very in this competition. They just have to keep their heads low and let some of the other shops clash around them.
Take, for example, Tri-Cities Tattoo being in the bottom for yet another week. They’ve skated by, but barely and they’re not getting along. It’s only a matter of time before they go (since working together in harmony is key to winning this season), and you just have to be prepared for that. That’s probably why Think Before You Ink should take a little bit of solace despite a rough start to the competition. Our concern for them is that there’s almost an over-correction for them given that Made Rich seemed to be playing so much towards the detail theme of the challenge that he forgot about creating a tattoo that from afar, actually would look like something. Black Anchor deserved to be in danger because their tattoo was so huge and without detail in spots, but taking the theme aside there were clear issues elsewhere.
The challenge tonight themed all around natural disasters, and for Black Anchor, this elimination had to feel like a disaster given that they were the team best equipped of the original group to win the whole thing.
Back at the Flash Challenge
The panel art was a cool idea to showcase detail since you were having to align two different images across different sides. There were several cool images that were in here, but we’re hardly surprised to see that it was Unkindness Art that walked away from this in the end. They were the team that brought the most to the table in terms of them both delivering a great image. For us, Bang from Tri-Cities had the best overall image, but her partner dropped the ball and she was negated. Gotta work together folks or you aren’t winning this season! Maybe her success here will be a beginning for their shop to move in a different direction with Bang as the leader.
This was a great episode that had a shocking exit at the end … or close to it. This was the sort of episode where you knew that the car was going to careen down the hill, and it was just happening in such slow motion that the anticipation alone put a chill down your spine. From the moment the tattoos were done, it was clear that Black Anchor would probably be going (and to be fair if you can’t spell the name of your own shop maybe you shouldn’t be in the competition to begin with). We had to spend the final minutes of the episode seeing if the judges would pull the trigger and they did. Given that Oliver Peck tried to send home Tri-Cities, it actually almost didn’t happen at all. Episode Grade: B+.
For more news, including a preview now for the next all-new Ink Master episode, be sure to visit the link here right now! (Photo: Spike.)