Tonight’s Ink Master season 11 episode 12 served as yet another example that judging on a tattoo competition like this is nuanced and complicated. What do you send someone home for — a poorly-thought-out design that matched the theme, or a more visible idea that didn’t match the theme much at all?
The theme for the episode was detail and all of the remaining artists were tasked with having to create a design that revolved around some sort of reflection. Yet, Amanda did something that almost looked like a monster trapped in an orb. It didn’t actually feel much like a reflection at all and it was super-strange to look at. Anatomy issues aside it was punched-in rather well, but there was a serious case to be made that she was the weakest overall artist and could’ve been sent home because of that.
Yet, then there is also the crisis for Tim. This is a guy who did his best to do something with a cat looking into a reflection and seeing a lion — conceptually, this was the hardest design of the day. This was about two different creatures that are both incredibly hard to do on their own let alone in one tattoo together. We actually think that this tattoo was legible; the only thing sinking him was his color theory. The cat looked green and completely unnatural. If it were orange or another color, maybe Tim wouldn’t have even been down there at all.
The person who went home here, in the end, was Turk. This is kind of a shame because on a personal level, Turk seems like a super nice guy who was there trying to establish a bigger name for himself and win this for his son. There’s hitting the challenge and then there is hitting the challenge. Turk basically did the equivalent of hitting a nail so far into a fence that it flies through the fence and hits someone in the other yard. There was SO much going on and very little of it was clear. It was super-hard to figure out just what this tattoo was meant to be, and it’s a shame because with a little more editing, this could have actually been a nice tattoo that was easy to understand. Even at this moment it’s hard to tell you anything about this other than the shape of it (a coffin).
Related – If you missed it be sure to Check out our exclusive interviews with Christian Buckingham and Cleen Rock One!
Let’s go through a couple of the other tattoos, mostly because that’s preference to talking about the wood-burning flash challenge that was an obvious win for Team Cleen.
Chris – Great tattoo, but not the most detailed. Chris is doing a great job of playing for around third place. He’s proving that he does solid tattoos with very few mistakes, but rarely does that ever make you the winner at the end of this season.
Tiffer – Was he bailed out tonight? To a certain extent, sure. He was able to spare himself being in the bottom because of some other mistakes elsewhere, but we think that the producers are doing the it-happens-every-season storyline of “oh look, the favorite is starting to struggle.” We see this all the time on this show, but what happens on the other side of it? The favorite emerges again and puts everyone to shame. The real Tiffer, like a phoenix wearing a checkered shirt, will rise once again.
Tony – Tony’s a great artist and is probably being overlooked just because of the fact that Tiffer is on Cleen’s team. Don’t be shocked if the finale is Tony vs. Tiffer vs. Teej. It’s the battle of the Ts!
Teej – For the second week in a row he took home Tattoo of the Day, and it was for another killer design — he has shown himself to be the master of black-and-gray, but he can also do some other stuff as we’ve noted for most of the season. He’s creative enough to stand out, and yet simple enough to understand the restraints of this competition. At the moment, it’s clear that he has a heck of a lot going for himself. He just has to find a way to keep it up.
Ink Master season 11 episode 12 proved tonight that there are still challenges so big that even some of the best artists will stumble, and it also proved to be a lucky one for a number of artists who faltered. While Team Christian may have a sizable 4-2 advantage right now on Team Cleen, it’s not all that hard to envision a scenario where the next three people to leave are Amanda, Tim, and Chris in some order. Tony, Tiffer, and Teej have a sizable amount of distance over everyone else in terms of overall tattooing and also potential. Chris hasn’t been in the bottom sure, but he also isn’t seemingly blowing anyone away.
This episode in a lot of ways also feels like it’s riding the middle somewhat. There was a good debate over who would go home at the end, but we do worry that the next few weeks are setting up to be somewhat predictable with the favorites so obvious at this point in the show. While we don’t want a shock elimination for the sake of ruining what could be a good endgame, it would be nice to see one of the favorites have a really good scare that makes everyone wonder whether or not these three are really a lock for finale night.
What did you think about Ink Master season 11 episode 12 overall? Be sure to share right now in the attached comments! (Photo: Paramount Network.)