On Ink Master season 9 episode 4, we saw the arrival of Picasso Dular and Lalo from House of Monkey in Brooklyn. Yet, you may barely remember that thanks to everything else that happened in this episode! This was a crazy hour of TV, even if the end of it was something that you saw coming a mile away.
At the end of the episode, Tri-Cities Tattoo was finally eliminated after spending weeks at the bottom. Cherub Day proved to be a bad day for them (really it was a bad day for everyone), and it seemed really to just be a consequence of Danger Dave and Bang not being at the level of some other artists in terms of experience. It’s similar in some ways to how Bubba Irwin was his first time on the show. In a few years, they could come back and be far stronger in this competition than they were here.
Then, there’s Think Before You Ink. They were interesting this week, and that’s putting it as mildly as a bottle of hot sauce. Made Rich was the source of much of the tension, mostly because he was combative with pretty much everyone in the house. We will credit him on two things: His tattoo was really good (it was his partner DTatStar who really lagged behind), and he did have a point (at times) when he said that people were coming at him, and with that, he had a right to fire right back. Granted, he was one of the reasons that they were coming at him in the first place!
He’s obviously a good tattooer, but making enemies often equals making things so much harder on yourself in this competition.
It was no surprise that Think Before You Ink were in the bottom; however, it was a surprise that Artistic Skin Design avoided going to elimination. They’ve been solid all season, but they weren’t penalized all that much for not actually doing a cherub, which was the point of the challenge. They’re one of our favorite teams, but we personally would’ve probably put them in the bottom over Allegory Arts just because you gotta show that sticking to the theme really matters. We understand that they had a canvas that refused to get a cherub, but that’s on production to have back up canvases that can step in for situations like this. Why would you show up for cherub day when you want an angel?
In general, this was a rough night
For the first time all season, the artists had to tattoo separately (but the tattoos had to look like they were tattooed by the same artist), and it showed who the stronger artists are. That being said, none of the tattoos were perfect. Lalo and Picasso were probably two of the better ones (which is good for them since they are the new kids on the block this week), however, the judges went with Unkindness Art for the win because Erin Chance’s cherub was amazing. The Flash Challenge earlier in the night about ear tattoos didn’t go that much better for most teams — Old Town Ink got the win, but they faded to the background soon after that just because they’re a little more chill as competitors.
A great episode for drama, but not a great episode for tattooing. The Flash Challenge art was pretty small and unexciting, and the Elimination Tattoo wasn’t that fun for us. Cherubs just aren’t appealing in general, so toss in the predictable elimination and this becomes the weakest installment of season 9 to date. Grade: B-.
Where do thinks go next?
Judging from the preview for the next episode, there will be all sorts of issues with human canvases! You can get some further news about that over at the link here. (Photo: Spike.)