Ink Master season 10 episode 9 review: The playing field shifts

Ink Master season 10 episode 9

Remember when it was a big deal that DJ Tambe only had three people left on Ink Master season 10? Well, all of a sudden it’s starting to feel like it’s not all that big a deal anymore. This team keeps pushing forward, and on Tuesday night’s new episode Team Anthony Michaels lost another member in Amanda Leitch.

Losing Amanda at this point was pretty sad in that you could tell that she really wanted to be there and she went into her hot-air balloon themed elimination challenge with the goal of trying to deliver something incredible to the judges. Yet, she took a little too big of a risk in not using much of a reference and not having thick enough outlines; the moment that we didn’t see the fire in her balloon design, it was then that it started to feel that we were going to be seeing her leave the show.

The most unsurprising thing about this episode is that Josh Payne, finally, has a Best Tattoo of the Day Award — and he’s earned it. Love the guy or hate him, but he’s easily one of the strongest overall artists in the competition at the moment. Were it not for one face-off he would have never been in danger this season, and it feels like he’s finished second or third in a lot of Elimination Challenges. He’s also had to take on some of the worst canvases. He got a little bit lucky here in that his canvas was a little malleable when it comes to the design — he got to do more of what he wanted and she seemed to be okay with it. Having a whale and a hot air balloon together may not be realistic, but there was a playfulness there that isn’t often seen with Josh as an Ink Master contender.

As good as Josh was, you do have to roll your eyes at how badly the other teams have done targeting him and the other people on DJ’s team. Roly T-Rex had a chance tonight after winning the Flash Challenge and we actually don’t fault much of his decision-making. He probably thought Jason on Team Anthony would convince his canvas to move the placement just as he probably also thought that Josh would be stuck with a tough design. That didn’t happen.

What’s missing from this season?

Even though season 10 has been by and large great, there is still that feeling that we haven’t had that super-buzzworthy moment to date. There haven’t been too many highly controversial exits or fights that were really interesting beyond just Josh yelling at people and/or Josh responding to people yelling at him. Mostly for us many of the artists have felt like back ground players to the mentors, which is a real shame because it makes it harder to get invested in them.

CarterMatt Verdict

We liked Amanda — she was a genuine underdog this season and it’s sad to see her go, even if it was clear for a while that she probably wasn’t going to win. The hot-air balloon challenge proved to be a fun one, especially seeing all the different takes and bright colors used.

Also, as a long time gamer we can’t end this review without talking about the Lara Croft movie mention. It was super strange for us to hear Dave Navarro say that Lara Croft’s most notable weapons of choice are the bow and a climbing pick. We are assuming that the new movie is moving away from her actual most notable weapons (the double guns) that she’s been rocking since the game was introduced in 1996 on Sega Saturn and PlayStation, but saying that Lara Croft is famous for her bow and pick is like saying Robin Hood is famous for his sword. We are sure Robin Hood used one, but that’s not what he’s famous for.

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