Ink Master season 12 episode 3 review: The bad canvas strikes again

Ink MasterDealing with human canvases is the unstable element in the equation of Ink Master, for a few reasons — you never know how they’re going to be able to sit through the tattoo and also you don’t know what their frame of mind is going into this. There are some times you deal with them and it turns out that they are warm, friendly, and agreeable — they realize that they have ridiculous requests or they can’t have something done on their ribs if they want it to be good. Other times, they are stubborn or borderline delusional Thinking they can have a horse, riding through a galaxy made of koi fish and ice cream cones.

Then, there are the people who squirm around and struggle to take the pain. These are the worst kind because if they can’t handle the pain of the tattoo, they aren’t going to sit still and what could’ve been a straight line is now a problem. The squirming was the apparent undoing of Big Jaz and what sent him home tonight, as it made it incredibly hard for him to turn his surrealist tattoo into something great. Was the concept so great that it would’ve spared him from the bottom even if the tattoo was awesome-constructed? That’s hard to say, since it’s still hard to really understand what we were looking at here. Yet, the difficulties with that canvas made it super tough to punch in a lot of that color.

It’s weird that in some ways, Jaz’s performance is similar to what we’ve seen from some other longtime, street-shop artists. We wonder if you’ve been used to doing things one way for 20+ years if it’s harder to adjust to doing things the show’s way. It’s a big transition! One thing that we can say with some confidence is that these people loved themselves some big Jaz — and so did we! He just seemed like a genuinely good guy and cared about both the men and the women in the competition. He didn’t want to go, but he held his head up high as he left.

Jaz was in the bottom tonight versus Ash and also Janelle, and we get it since there were problems with both. Yet, we’d probably replace Ash with Pon since it felt like Ash at least tried to stay true to the challenge — doesn’t following the actual challenge matter from? We understand that the judging criteria for this show can sometimes be all over the place — hence, Fon winning last week with an unfinished tattoo — but still. Fon’s Tattoo of the Day victory this time around was pretty straightforward, though Laura’s tattoo of the balloon coming out of the suit was pretty incredible in its own right outside of a wonky line in that diamond.

Cam loves Cam

Other than seeing coach Bubba Irwin overtake Sarah Miller thanks to Big Jaz’s elimination tonight, we also had a chance to see Cam rise more into the spotlight as this season’s controversial figure. This man loves himself so much on this show that we’d be shocked if he didn’t take that wire astronaut from the Flash Challenge home as some sort of victory trophy — even if he didn’t win. We don’t think that he’s horrifically diabolical in the way that some villains have been over the years — in a different way, he seems to be so caught up in being the loudest voice that he doesn’t quite understand that this alienates people. We got a good sense of that late in the episode when he seemed to question why some of the women didn’t want to talk to him — it’s because he never quiets down and gives other people a chance to even think.

Cam’s a good artist though, so lucky for him he is one of those contestants who can talk a lot of game and then prove it — he had one of the toughest canvases this time, but with a little canvas sweet talking he was able to make his work a little bit easier.

CarterMatt Verdict

Ink Master season 12 continues to be solid three episodes in. We’re getting just enough of the returnee coaches for them to be notable, but not so much that it gets overwhelming and we’re not seeing enough of the artists who matter. Some of the art so far is a little shaky, but it’s early and there are some growing pains with learning how the competition works. Perhaps the most important thing is that it feels like there are at least seven or eight artists we can name off the top of our head at this point, which is probably more than we’ve had for the past few seasons when the returnees have had more screen time then the newbies.

For some other Ink Master updates…

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What did you think about Ink Master season 12 episode 3? Sad to see Big Jaz go? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: Paramount Network.)

This article was written by Jessica Carter. Follow her on Twitter here.

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