On Tuesday night, Ink Master: Angels was located in none other than Music City in Nashville, but we cannot say that every tattoo we saw over the hour was music to our ears. As a matter of fact, this may have been the weakest episode of the season (tattoo-wise) aside from the artist who made it to the Angel Face-Off in Tai Orten. She had some serious talent, especially when it came to doing gypsy heads.
Unfortunately, during her battle against Kelly Doty she violated what is one of the most-common Ink Master rookie mistakes out there: Trying to get too ambitious and biting off more than you can chew. She tried to do an enormous back piece for this challenge that included a cover-up. Really, she did what was a ten or twelve-hour tattoo in six hours, and while the design had a ton of potential there were a lot of little issues where it was clear it was rushed. Meanwhile, Kelly’s tattoo was beautiful, clean, and didn’t have many of those same problems. She had some restraint, and this means that Kelly remains undefeated in Angel Face-Offs that she has taken part in this season. There are only three artists who have won their way to season 10 to date; they were on a little bit of a winning streak for a while, but the events of this episode slant things back in the Angels’ favor.
What was interesting perhaps more so than the Face-Off tonight was the showdown that took place beforehand with Rose, who came in second place among the artists tonight, and the Angels. We don’t know what this guy was thinking when coming up with a gypsy head sketch only twenty minutes before showing up and doing the tattoo. There was probably a lot in here that wasn’t shown — he may have a lot of other responsibilities beyond just taking part in this competition — but it was a pretty bad look for him and the moment it came across that he didn’t care that much about the canvas, it was clear that he was not going to be moving forward in the competition. The Angels really didn’t have any other choice but to send him packing — not that it was hard since Tai had a better tattoo in the first place.
As we start to get to the end of this review it does feel like a good time to ponder a few questions about this season of the show as a whole. For one, did they front-load it when it comes to all of the Ink Master alumni? It feels like it’s been weeks since we’ve seen a single former contestant drop by beyond the Angels. Also, is the show going to look at making a few format tweaks for the new season? We feel like they’ve probably realized through this process some of the things that work — like visiting the different shops and the whole structure of the Angel Face-Offs. However, some of the things that don’t work, (such as the conflict between the contestants) are probably just because this show is still trying to be like Ink Master proper. We almost feel like it’d be better off being called Ink Angels and distancing itself a little bit from that brand and allow some of the Angels’ personalities to come out more.
While this was still a very good Ink Master: Angels episode entertainment-wise, there was such a disparity in tattoo quality throughout that it was probably the most predictable one of the entire season.
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