Ink Master season 9 finale review: Did Black Cobra Tattoo, Old Town Ink, Basilica Tattoo win?

Ink Master season 9 episode 13Who won Ink Master season 9? The finale promised to have a lot of drama, especially when you’re thinking about the way in which the show tends to operate in the live format. They let America choose who they want to see make it to the finale based on the live tattoo challenge, whereas the judges choose the other finalist.

Basically, there is one shop who ends up going home before they even get to showcase all of the work that they did — consider this the Matt O’Baugh robbery that we saw a few seasons ago since he’s very much familiar with getting screwed over in finales.

While we could talk all day about Made Rich (who really just needs to be on every season of the show) getting into shouting matches with Dane Smith or the 100th argument about #ThumbGate this season, there are a few other things that we need to get into.

The Live Tattoo Showdown – DJ Tambe, Katie McGowan, and Christian Buckingham represented Old Town Ink, Black Cobra Tattoo, and Basilica Tattoo. Given that the stakes were high, we’re not shocked that all three of them put out some really good work. Who was best? A lot of that is up to the individual voter at this point, but we personally thought that the colors on Black Cobra’s tattoo were all sorts of incredible. The judges seemed to agree that Katie’s was one of the stronger pieces, but this was very much all about who America wanted. (Plus, there may be a lot of bitter Golden Skull fans voting against Black Cobra.)

Back Tattoo Reveals – While the votes were being tallied, we got a chance to see everyone’s back piece. The black-and-gray piece from Old Town Ink, seemingly a creation of Bubba Irwin, was amazingly ambitious but innovative. Basilica Tattoo seemed to be very much in their element, and Black Cobra went really dark and bold in their shading.

The First Shop Put Through – Black Cobra. They really got their fans out to vote! We were worried about this, but they’re getting a chance now to advance to the final show down.

The judges’ decision – This is where things got crazy since there was a ton of judging in between the audience and the judges. (By the way, this was a very pro Old Town audience.) Personally, we liked Old Town’s a lot, but it was pretty close. In the end, though, Old Town went through! Basilica Tattoo went home.

One thing that the judges did do that was nice this season was right the wrongs of the past — we got to see the second back tattoo from Basilica, and it is pretty darn great. Would it have won? After seeing the other two tattoos from Old Town and Black Cobra, probably not — but at least we got to see it.

The final back pieces – These were both impressive, but according to the judges, still imperfect. (Were the judges really that happy with any of the final pieces this year?) To us, they both did some interesting work, but we liked that Black Cobra went a little more with a theme for their two pieces. Yet, we also respected that Old Town Ink had been in the competition almost from the beginning.

The winner – Who was the winner of Ink Master season 9? With Old Town, you had something that was more intricate; with Black Cobra, you had something that was big and bold. In the end, the judges chose Old Town Ink is the winner.

What did you think about the Ink Master season 9 finale? Did the right shop win?

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