Ink Master: The top 9 most memorable artists

Ink Master season 9

With there being so many heavy hitter veterans returning for Ink Master season 9, we thought that it was a good time to talk about some of the most memorable artists over the years – and there’s a lot of them! We decided with us being in season 9 of the show that we would do CarterMatt’s top 9 most memorable Ink Master artists, but really there are a lot more then that. This show brings us some of the biggest TV personalities, brilliant artwork and intense moments out of any reality show on the air right now and that’s something that should be celebrated. So who made our list? Let’s dive in and check it out.

1. Cleen Rock One: This list has to start with Cleen and there are so many reasons why he is as memorable as he is. He is a huge fan favorite (as well as a favorite of the judges), has been in the finale twice and is the only artist on the show to compete in three different seasons! After being on the show so many times and getting so close to that win, it’s easy to want to see it happen for Cleen this season. He is the greatest Ink Master to never win.

2. Kyle Dunbar: When we saw Kyle on his first season he was an immediate favorite of ours and not just because of his talent as a tattooer. He is such a genuine person that was solely there to win the money and help his family – this is something we could really get behind and relate to. The thing that landed Kyle in the second spot of most memorable Ink Master artists is of course his fight with Chris Nunez. We can’t remember  ever seeing anything like this on a reality show where a contestant was ready to punch a judges daylights out. We understood Kyle’s frustration with his tattoos getting picked on (we were frustrated just watching it), so it wasn’t that surprising to see him finally get to his breaking point.

3. Joshua Hibbard: He was really Ink Master’s first “villain” although for us he has always been one of our favorites. Joshua LOVED to stir the pot and he did it better then anyone else (and trust us, many other’s have tried). The other thing about Joshua was that everyone wanted him out of the competition and every week they tried to stick him with a rib piece and every week he talked that canvas into moving it. There has been no better tattoo salesman than Joshua. Then there was the big pot smoking controversy that allegedly gave him some kind of “edge” in tattooing better, leading him to getting disqualified during his second time on the show. Love him or hate him, it’s impossible to not remember him.

4. Ryan Ashley Malarkey: We had been wanting a female winner on Ink Master ever since Sarah Miller got robbed in season 2 and seeing some of the incredibly talented female artists go in and out of this competition over the years we were getting increasingly frustrated with the lack of female winners. This is one of the reasons that Ryan Ashley’s win last season was so important to us and to the franchise as a whole. She was the clear winner from the start with solid tattoo work and a strong alliance.

5. Sausage: He is so incredibly likable, and on a show like Ink Master where there are some pretty hardcore personalities, someone like Sausage was a treat to watch. You wanted to root for him, you wanted to see him win and his tattoos were outstanding! The thing that made him so memorable to us (outside of his positive personality) was that his season was the first time we saw alliances come into play. Scott Marshall, Matti Hixson and Halo were working together to take Sausage out and no matter how hard they tried, he kept producing outstanding works of art. We always want to root for the underdog.

6. Emily Elegado: There cannot be a top ten most memorable Ink Master players list and not have Emily on it. She was one of the most polarizing players to ever be on the show. She was unafraid, in your face and played dirty if she had to. One of the most memorable moments for us was when she knew the person she was competing against had measured the tattoo stencil wrong and didn’t tell him – like we said, she played a little dirty. The Ink Mistress had a lot of haters during her season, but for us she was pure entertainment gold and we couldn’t get enough of her.

7. Christian Buckingham: There is no doubt that Christian is one heck of a tattoo artist, but the thing that makes him memorable to us is that he is hands down the best strategist to ever compete on this show. He reminds us a lot of Paul Abrahamian from Big Brother, where he easily creates this “us against them” environment that other artists just can’t help but to feed into it. It’s worked before, and in season 9 it’s working again.

8. Tatu Baby: There was a positive fan reaction to Tatu Baby the first time she played, but when she came back for Ink Master season 3 it was a different story. She had a lot of unfinished tattoos, tried to quit once (which is really frustrating to us as a viewer) and had some serious favoritism from the judges (especially Chris Nunez) that landed her in the top 3 when she really had no business being there. The moment that really stuck with us was when Joey Hamilton (winner of season 3) was standing in the final 3 with her and Jime Litwalk and he called out the nonsense of her being in the final 3 at all. No one disagreed with you Joey… except maybe Chris Nunez.

9. Jamie Davies – While you may not necessarily remember his name or his tattoos everyone remembers the tattoo artist that was eliminated for not having any tattoos.  He was cast on the show because he was a tattoo artist with no tattoos, and for some reason he wasn’t being judged on his actual artwork, but instead was eliminated because he had no tattoos. Incredibly frustrating to watch. It’s like saying that a surgeon that has never had a surgery performed on themselves is inept at performing a surgery on someone else.

Who was your most memorable Ink Master player and why? Leave us a comment below with your thoughts. If you are looking for more scoop on Ink Master season 9 then head on over to the link here where you can check out our reviews, previews and interviews with the artists. (Photo: Spike TV)

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