Ink Master season 11 episode 9 taught us one thing: Mermaid Day isn’t any more successful than Pin-Up Day. There were a lot of tattoos tonight that were a mess.
Specifically, for the first time all season Tony Medellin was in some element of danger. He had to sweat things out tonight after being criticized for some of his design choices, but he was able to avoid getting the final cut. That went instead to Jimmy Snaz, one of the most compelling people of the season story-wise. This is a guy who, in his own words, was on his way to a grave before his life started to turn around. He worked really hard in order to improve and better himself, and the relationship with his brother Kyle also got better over time. You could see Kyle’s distress over the thought of Jimmy leaving the show, but there really wasn’t anything that could be done to save him. It felt clear about midway through this episode that he was the one in the greatest amount of danger.
So who do we blame for Jimmy’s exit? You have to start with him, given that it feels like there is almost always something that can be done in order to turn your fate around in a competition like this. Yet, at the same time it also feels okay to point the finger in the direction of Tiffer who, despite being on the same team, didn’t do a whole lot to fight for his fellow artists. He allowed them to be saddled with tough tattoos and they weren’t too pleased on the other side of it.
(We will say that if Tiffer, even subconsciously, sabotaged some of his fellow team members for the sake of his own game in the long-term, it certainly isn’t a terrible move.)
While tonight was a rough one for Tony, it proved to be a time for Turk to shine as, amidst some emotional turmoil of his own, delivered his best tattoo of the day. Given that there aren’t too many established favorites this season save for maybe Tiffer, Tony, and at times Teej Poole, there’s some room for him to rise up the ranks and give himself more of a fighting chance to win. It’s not going to be an easy road for him but with this show, it never is.
Overall, we do think Ink Master season 11 episode 9 was one of the more dramatic episodes of the season. There were a number of great brotherly moments, some humor courtesy of some of the designs, and then also Christian fighting with some of the members of Cleen’s team.
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