Tonight, Ink Master season 12 episode 9 delivered an hour where the notion of alliances within the game started to take over. Was Laura working with Creepy Jason and Cam? Were some of the women working against the other? Did any of it matter since in the end there can only be one Ink Master?
While there is ALWAYS going to be an emphasis on drama with this show, it all still comes down to one thing more than any other in our mind: Who ends up doing the worst tattoo on the day. This time around, there could be some debate over that. You had Ash Mann on one side of that and then Creepy Jason on the other. Both of them had some problems on composition day getting together freehand tattoos. That can be hard to do since you can’t rely on much else except yourself or anything else to give you inspiration. It’s all about artistry and being able to do something cool based on what you were handed.
This is where the skull pick factored in and hurt Creepy Jason a ton — he’s a very off-the-wall artist and for a super-creative challenge, he was forced to do something that was very stringent in a lot of ways: A viking helmet. This took away a lot of creativity since it was more about replicating anatomy and operating within a tradition framework. This may be what led to him being in the bottom. Meanwhile, Ash had a sweeping flag/skull design that gave her trouble from the jump, as she had a difficult time when it comes to dealing with her canvas and getting her design together. The curse of the bad canvas strikes again!
This feels like one of those episodes where either artist could’ve gone home and you could make the case for it, but we think that when the dust settled, Ash’s design had a lot of problems and she’s also been in danger a lot over the season already. That may be why she took her elimination in stride — she wanted to go further but she’d already withstood a ton of obstacles. Also, she showed that she can do some great stuff throughout the season so far.
Ash’s elimination does buck a trend of the team winning the flash challenge getting what they want on the other side of it, and it does also work to keep the guys from slipping further into disaster territory. They were down in the numbers at the start of the episode and it could’ve gotten so much worse for them. We just think that seeing more of your team members leave may get demoralizing over time, and it could motivate the other team further to pick you all off, one right after the next.
For the record, Laura won tattoo of the day with a great drawing and color-play on her octopus. Dani was so close to taking it, as well and as we’ve been saying this season these two women are really the two to look out for. We could easily see them and Cam as the final three with Laura coming out on top, but we still have more to go and anything can happen between now and finale night.
What Ink Master season 12 episode 9 offered you was one of the more interesting elimination challenges of the season, mostly because freehand tattoos offer up a lot of creativity. It’s not just watching everyone do a Hannya mask or something else super-similar. This is where you see a lot of strengths, and one strength for every contestant should be the ability to do something like this. If nothing else, it’s a great thing to practice beforehand since it seems to be something that the judges are going to throw at you at least once a season.
What did you think about Ink Master season 12 episode 9?
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This review was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.