Ink Master season 9 episode 6 review: Shaky criteria at best

Ink Master season 9 episode 6 reviewThe thing about Ink Master that can be so maddening at times is that at the end of the day, the criteria seems to change by the hour and at times even the moment.

On Tuesday night’s new episode, Lalo and Picasso Dular from House of Monkey were victims of that. Their tattoo sent them home, despite them never being in the bottom before, on artistry day … even though it was more artistic than either of the other two in the bottom in Black Spade Tattoo and Classic Trilogy Tattoo. Meanwhile, Old Town Ink was the winner of the Flash Challenge for having a more artistic design, even though the judges determined that it was far sloppier than what Allegory Arts put out there.

So … what is right and what is wrong? The only thing that we can say is that it feels like the wrong team went home this time around, at least if the entire premise of the challenge was to be artistic and creative.

This is where we are right now with Classic Trilogy Tattoo — we’re incredibly frustrated with them, given that they were our guys entering this season given that they have the same nerdy aesthetic as us. Unfortunately, we’ve since seen them do many of the same sort of designs week after week; they are good at what they do, but they don’t stretch themselves at all and the flowers that they did in this episode were ultimately dull. It’s harder to root for them when they are not taking any of those risks. While it may be easy to dislike Old Town Ink as frontrunners, they’ve done some killer work — they bit off more than they should have with the cover-up tonight, but we do still have to say that they tried something with it and should be commended for that. We just can’t get over the Pearl Harbor design that they did from last week, which may be one of the best tattoos that we’ve had a chance to see on the show.

Is DJ Tambe getting riled up?

That is one of the few questions that we had coming out of this episode thanks to our new arrivals from Boneface Ink … led of course by Boneface. He’s not someone who considers himself much of an artist per se, which is why he brought along Hobo Ink, a guy barely even on the show last season. Hobo’s doing the art, and he is laying down the technical work. This is so far from who DJ is as a person that he can’t wrap his head around it, which suggests to us that there could be some problems here moving forward.

On a more positive note, congratulations to Pinz and Needlez for stepping things up tonight and winning another elimination tattoo. They’re not getting the biggest edit, but these ladies are starting to showcase themselves more as serious threats to win this. They don’t cause drama, and they do good work. Sometimes, that’s all you need to do well on this show. They’re rising while Artist Skin Design is falling among the list of newbie contenders.


The show did miss Think Before You Ink and all of their drama this week, but getting a nice dose of drama via Boneface helped to make up for it. Unfortunately, the uneven criteria proved to be frustrating by the end of the episode — we certainly do think that Lalo’s colors were unappealing, but wasn’t there more of an effort to be creative there at least? Grade: B-.

Where do we go from here?

You can get everything from more recent Ink Master reviews to previews and much more just by heading over to the link here right now! Stay tuned for further scoop. (Photo: Spike.)

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