Ink Master: Angels season 2 episode 1 review: Did Teej Poole defeat Kelly Doty?

Ink Master: Angels - Teej PooleInk Master: Angels season 2 episode 1 has come and gone, and we now have a pretty good sense as to precisely what the show is — and also what it’s not.

One of the more refreshing things about the season premiere is simple: The tone. This didn’t feel like the same Ink Master: Angels with the contestants constantly bickering and with it trying to be a little more like the show proper. It was lighter, funnier, and felt a little more natural. It helped that for this first episode, set in Charlotte, featured artists who already had connections with each other through Terry Darkman, the veteran artist and, ironically, the first person to be eliminated on the show tonight. Jon Ronzka, a color artist who often works alongside Terry, was the second person sent home.

This left us with Kelly Doty (chosen ahead of time — one difference from season 1) competing against Teej Poole, a black-and-gray specialist with seven years of experience in the field. Also, he is incredible at it. Ink Master: Angels wasted almost no time at all giving you a fantastic artist this week and someone who could easily fare well on Ink Master proper — and he’s going to get that opportunity. Teej unanimously defeated Kelly in the Angel Face-off using some of the skills that he does best. His work in realism is on another level and he knows how to really use things like negative space to his advantage.

In general, everything with the season 2 premiere just felt easier and more comfortable. This time around it feels more like the Angels are in their element and that level of comfort bleeds over to the contestants. Everyone knows now precisely what this show is and with that, there’s a little less experimenting that needs to be done.

If there’s one change we would make, it’s this: Why even bother to do the skull pick at the end. It’s really akin to choosing the final canvases by luck and it just feels like a waste of time. We’d either slant the advantage in favor of the Angel or the artist — let one of them choose the contestants to add a little bit of drama there. (One element that we appreciate is Angels continuing to focus on personal stories for these artists; in this case, we are talking about survivors of domestic abuse.)

Related Want to see more news regarding this edition of Ink Master: Angels?

CarterMatt Verdict

After a solid first season Ink Master: Angels now has a better sense of the sort of show that it is — and, to go along with that, how it wants the contestants to shine. This is more about the investment in the individual artists; you can save the gauntlet and the screaming for Ink Master itself.

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