Ink Master season 11 episode 13 review: Flowers and face-offs

Ink MasterThere are so many different things worth discussing in regards to Ink Master season 11 episode 13, whether it be the three different challenges, the immense power of Team Cleen’s advantage, or the sheer amazingness of the shirts that Tim is wearing all season. In between his various fruit-themed shirts and Tiffer Wright rocking the checkered style, we may have overall some of the best Ink Master fashion going on that we’ve seen in the series’ history.

As for what we actually got in terms of content this time around, we have had one of the more controversial finishes that we’ve seen in some time. Did the judges actually make the right choice in eliminating Chris Shockley? They basically did what Team Christian wanted them to do, when for entertainment’s sake it would have been infinitely more fun if there had been a way in which to see him stick around for at least one more week moving forward.

Chris’ elimination came at the end of a very-tumultuous episode for him, one that started with a back-and-forth during the team tattoo challenge over his role and time management. One of the things that we’ve noticed about Chris is that he likes to get in, get his tattoos done, and then get out. He’s very much efficient at what he does and doesn’t like to spend extra time. The other artists aren’t quite that and when he doesn’t get his way, he speaks out or gets upset in a way that either feels defensive or passive-aggressive in a way that the other artists do not appreciate. The drama escalated throughout the night, especially after Team Cleen deservedly won the first challenge. Chris apparently tried to use a little bit of Ink Master strategy tonight in downplaying some of his own ability when he learned that he had to face off against Teej Poole (one of the many advantages Cleen had here). In the end, Chris almost beat Teej here! Meanwhile, Tony Medellin was able to beat Tim whereas Tiffer took down Amanda Boone in what was a really-close showdown. We actually think that Amanda did her best tattoo of the entire season here, but her shading just wasn’t on the same level as Teej.

In general, we have to say that the second round of this showdown probably did give us some of the best overall work of this entire season. Nobody was bad and everyone seemed to bring it — though from a drama standpoint, this is when the members of Team Christian other than Chris decided that this was the right time in which to try and take him out. It’s kind of hard to really do that on this sort of competition, but it always seems like the sort of really good thing to say in confessionals and in conversations for the sake of building up a little bit of rivalry. The judges are the ones who make the decision, and do you really think the judges are going to care who is fighting with who?

Did the judges make a mistake?

Team Cleen had the power in the final showdown of the night (Amanda vs. Chris vs. Tim) to pick the style and subject of what they had to tattoo, and they chose a realistic bouquet of flowers. Not the easiest thing to do in the world. Of the group, it did feel as though Tim had the best total package — even if his three flowers looked similar, the color was lovely and he also had to deal with a rather bothersome canvas along the way. No objection to him being put through to the next round.

As for Amanda vs. Chris, this is much more debatable. Amanda’s flowers seemed to be far inferior to Chris’ entire image, which actually felt incredibly realistic even if it was hard to make out just how many stems there were. His ribbon was beautiful and his colors really popped. While there could have been a stronger outline on this, we do get the thinking that if you have a great tattoo, why hurt it with something that may not look altogether good in the end? Chris has taken very few risks most of the season and we understand that this is what has caused Christian to be driven up a wall at times by him. Fundamentally, he just wants to see him do a little bit more than he is in order to actually win this competition at the end and we don’t quite blame him. Risks are, at least in part, some of what makes tattooing great.

CarterMatt Verdict

While we do question whether or not Chris really should have gone over Amanda, he was one of the most polarizing characters of the season and there may be some happy to see him go here. This is mostly just a case of an artist who, while super talented, may not have been built for a season where teamwork was a big component in doing well. He set himself up for failure more often than not just by clashing with the other artists so much more than he really had to.

Oh, and did we mention that we really like Tim’s shirts? They’re the best.

Related NewsBe sure to get some more Ink Master news, including a preview for what’s coming up next!

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