Ink Master season 11 episode 14 did just about everything that it could in order to give you drama in what felt like a pretty predictable week.
After all, it’s been clear for a while now that Amanda Boone was going to be leaving the competition soon. She’s been in the bottom quite a bit, and we do think that there comes a point in this show where you’re at the point of no return. It’s hard to bounce back unless you just start winning a ton of Tattoo of the Day prizes. Amanda did a great job this season of getting this far, but the final challenge tonight ultimately did her in.
What was the objective? Ultimately, it was all about animals — realistic animals. Photo-realism is hard, but some of these particular tattoos took it to another level. Take, for example, seeing Team Christian assign Team Cleen the two hardest tattoos of the field. Tony Medellin had to pull off a leopard, while Tiffer Wright had the oh-so-unfortunate challenge of having to take on a lion — quite possibly the hardest animal out there because of the mane. Tiffer’s tattoo was good, but it was also a little bit terrifying in between the way the mane was laid out and also the facial expression of the lion itself. While it showed artistry, it also showed the limitations of a six-hour tattoo and that he does still have some flaws that can be exploited.
In the end, though, most of the final five minutes of this episode were about seeing Amanda and Tony battle as to who should stay between the two.
Amanda – She was assigned a fox, and in some ways, her tattoo was actually the more polished of the two in terms of actually recreating the photo. She did lose a little bit of the face, but the main issue that the judges seemed to have was that it bore a little more similarity to a racoon than it did a fox. We actually don’t see that and it feels like it was reasonably close to a fox. While there were times in the past this season where we’ve felt like Amanda could have gone home, we actually had fewer problems with this particular tattoo than a number of the other designs that we’ve seen from her.
Tony – Tony’s leopard did have a lot going for it in that it did look exactly like a leopard. Yet, it felt more like he actually just did a tattoo of any old leopard rather than trying to replicate the actual picture that he got. Tony’s one of our favorite artists this season, but this is the issue with trying to figure out how the judges look at tattoos. This was a week about precision and trying to nail the photo was a big part of that. Yet, at the same time there were clear inaccuracies in what Tony actually put out there, even if it did look technically sound as the big cat it was meant to be.
Cumulatively, eliminating Amanda here made sense … though we understand a number of arguments as to the tattoos themselves tonight.
Let’s give Tim some love
Tim Stafford may be one of our favorite contestants in some time just because he’s so different personality-wise from the prototypical Ink Master contestant. Also, he has the coolest shirts and he did a really awesome panda tonight. Teej Poole, awesome as he is, spent most of the night proclaiming that he was the portrait king only to be beat by someone else on his team for tattoo of the day. Teej’s gorilla was pretty great, but we would’ve went with Tim as well for how he managed to replace the panda almost exactly while adding a ton of dimension to the fur.
Does this meant that Tim moves up the power rankings as a contender? It’s a little hard to say that, but we do think that this showed that he is a little bit more versatile than many people gave him credit for earlier on in this season. (Funniest moment of the night: Tim’s reaction when he learned that he beat Teej for top tattoo.)
Notice that we didn’t really even mention the fact that there was a flash challenge tonight about crayons — they’re just not all that dramatic, though Christian’s team winning it did at least make things interesting tonight. That helped to create some drama over the elimination at the end; we are wondering though, how Cleen’s team would have played this tonight if they had won the flash challenge? Would they really have been able to make a play for Teej?
Related – If you missed it be sure to check out our exclusive interviews with Christian Buckingham and Cleen Rock One!
What did you think about Ink Master season 11 episode 14 overall? Be sure to share right now in the comments! Also, be sure to stay tuned for some other information on the series. (Photo: Paramount Network.)