Has a season of Ink Master been as dependent on skull picks as season 12? After watching Tuesday night’s new episode, it really feels fair to start to wonder this. Time and time again this season, we have seen the vast importance of flash challenges — and also what can happen with people who end up being stuck with uncooperative or difficult human canvases.
They guys did a good job capturing the judges’ approval within the Flash Challenge, a pretty nerdy battle designing artistic suits of armor, and then they executed their plan with the skull picks perfectly. From the start, what they were looking to do was target some of who they believed to be the mid-tier tattoo artists. They were thinking in terms of going after people who could be feasibly tripped up and were also somewhat threats down the road. They didn’t want to go after the more dominant artists or the people they considered to be vulnerable already and for us we don’t really agree with that strategy. If we were on the show we would be throwing the best artists under the bus as often as possible since it only takes one bad tattoo, or one bad canvas to trip someone up with these judges, and the more you put their feet to the fire the more chances there are for something to go sideways. Just our opinion.
As a result of this, Ashley Anoneison found herself in the crosshairs. They considered her at least enough of a threat to give her what had to be one of the most difficult canvases out there. Not only did this canvas want a tattoo in a really difficult spot, but she also wanted a very strange design. It’s not often that you see someone request a dark fairy in the vein of what she did (don’t forget the corset!) to go along with the bizarre cross-stitch design that was the theme for the elimination tattoo itself. She had a hard time meshing what the canvas wanted with what the actual challenge was. As a result of that, it just seemed like the whole process got the best of her and she was eliminated.
We’ve seen this season that Ashley is a pretty talented tattoo artist, even if she hasn’t gotten a ton of screen time. She just couldn’t come up with the best idea for this tattoo, and to go along with that, the canvas wasn’t exactly a lot of help. It was difficult to place it in on that skin properly — and she wasn’t dealing with an altogether positive person. It took Sausage (the mentor for the women this week) to even convince her to move the tattoo to a more doable place.
As for the men, was this one of their best outings of the whole season? It kind of feels that way at the moment. The decision from the judges came down between Ash and Ashley, so no one was in serious, immediate danger of being sent packing from their team. (Jake was in the bottom three, but quickly ruled out.) Also, they had tattoo of the day once again — this time because of Cam. They have dominated in this department all season long, but we think everyone out there has an advantage in the game of this. Winning tattoo of the day does not mean that you were going to be the next Ink Master. It just means that you’re helping to ensure your team can put one person in the bottom. The whole Jury of Peers thing is nonsense in the first place, given that the judges can ultimately choose whoever they want to choose to send home. It’s just a good add-on to the show for the sake of drama.
Speaking of drama, we wouldn’t necessarily say that this episode of Ink Master was the most intense of the season. Some of the themes they kept hitting on or ones that we know already, such as Pon having a tendency to make misogynistic comments towards the women or Cam getting in arguments with the other team. None of this is altogether new, but it did seem like Ash and Alexis buried the hatchet quietly enough following the showdown that took place last week.
Overall, this isn’t really an episode of Ink Master that we’re going to remember. Ashley seemed to be a very solid artist for most of the season, but she never really stood out that much since they never gave her much screen time. The moment that she got the big, personal confessional, it was fairly easy to tell that she was going to be going home, much like what happened to Pony Wave last week. There was good work elsewhere, so at least we have that to remember about Cross-Stitch Week.
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What did you think about Ink Master season 12 episode 6?
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This review was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.