Tonight, Ink Master season 9 episode 15 reminded us of one simple thing: The final four is the worst time to leave the competition. You know that you are right on the cusp of making it to the next level, but there is still something holding you back from that brass ring. This is when you start to think about if there is anything that you could’ve done differently and you second-guess every move you made in the competition.
What’s so interesting about this elimination tonight (at least in retrospect) is that it’s more about what an artist didn’t do over what they did wrong. Unkindness Art went home tonight, and did so because Doom Kitten’s hot-rod tattoo in the final challenge was a little too simple. He didn’t push the envelope enough as opposed to doing something to establish himself as a contender in the finale. This tattoo was nice, and the other piece from him and Erin Chance was outstanding. (We’re laying some of the blame on Doom mostly because Erin was pushing to add more to the hot-rod tattoo from what we saw on the show.)
It’s a bummer to see Unkindness Art, (the last remaining newbie shop in the competition) go home right at the end. That’s especially true given that Erin in particular is an outstanding artist and one of the best to be on the show. We do think that she should come back down the road if she gets that chance and if she did, she would likely clean house all the way to the end.
The thing that bums us out even more than the elimination is how it happened, given that both Basilica Tattoo and Black Cobra Tattoo were both saved after the Tattoo Marathon even though there were supposed to be only one save and then more tattoos (and therefore more chances to win). It was a curveball that infuriated Doom, and caused him to spiral into a meltdown reminiscent of Cleen Rock One last week. Personally, we thought Black Cobra won the first round and then Basilica, Unkindness, and Old Town Ink would’ve each had two more chances to enter the finale. All three of these shops are great, so any elimination would’ve been disappointing. Cutting the process short just sapped a little bit of the drama out given that the moment we saw Unkindness get stuck with the Hot Rod design, we knew that they were likely goners.
In terms of interesting challenges, we saw many tonight including doing work designated by some other shops. We were reminded of how great DJ Tambe is at tattooing snakes, how Bubba Irwin probably has gotten a raw deal sometimes in terms of his ability, and also how we would watch Christian Buckingham do just about anything. We’re set up for a really exciting finale, especially with the remaining artists all doing multiple back pieces (70 hours of tattooing!!!!). This should actually give the shops more time in the spotlight, and we do consider that to be a good thing given the whole theme of the season.
Overall CarterMatt thoughts…
Ink Master season 9 episode 15 will probably be most remembered most by Doom Kitten’s meltdown, but we don’t think the elimination of Unkindness will be anywhere near as controversial as losing Golden Skull Tattoo when we did. Everybody’s great in the competition at this point, and it showed in the quality of the work. Our one regret is that it seemed like there was a rule change at the last second with the judging of the marathon, and both Old Town and Unkindness got a raw deal in that regard.
What did you think about Ink Master season 9 episode 15, and are you upset that Unkindness Art went home? Share now in the comments below! (Photo: Spike.)
Also, be sure to visit the link here in the event you do want to preview some of what’s coming in the finale. (Photo: Spike)