Ink Master season 12 episode 13 narrowed the field down to just five remaining artists. Not only that, but it also eliminated arguably the show’s biggest character.
Cam Pohl was polarizing. There’s no other way around that. Producers probably loved him for the drama he provided, and contestants at times couldn’t stand him for his ego. Yet, through it all he cultivated a lot of strong tattoos and he feels like an artist who could return to this show and be a potential favorite. In the midst of all of the returning artists here or there, we have long wished that there’d just be a proper all-returnee season in the future — if you do two seasons in a year, it doesn’t take away as much from the regular ones and there are more then enough artists to do this. We came close years back with half returnees and half newbies, but we want to see an all stars!
How Cam was eliminated proved to be a fascinating exercise in itself. The artists were forced to do designs on the back of the neck, one of the trickiest spots for even some of the most skilled artists. There was a lot of variety in some of the creations this time around, but one of the bigger questions out there is going to revolve around mandala-gate. After Pon won the inspiring wheelchair spokeguard flash challenge, he didn’t end up giving cam the tattoo that he seemed like he would’ve been perfect for. Why? In Pon’s words, he felt like Cam would “shoot himself in the foot” with it. We wonder more if he saw this as an opportunity to get rid of someone threatening by having him do something outside of his comfort zone.
To Cam’s credit, he didn’t play it safe with the colorful sacred heart — he did his best to come up with a design that was worthy and he didn’t shy away from using color. The color was just too splotchy, the daggers weren’t even, and by the time he presented it to the judges, there was nothing he could do. A real, sacred heartbreaker for Cam. He seemed to know it was coming, based on his reaction through the judges’ critique.
Yet, should Cam have left?
There was a real case that Dani Ryan had the worse tattoo and Dave Navarro even mentioning that if he was a customer, he’d be less interested in getting that tattoo if it was the one that he saw on the wall of a shop. It was an eagle with short wings that wasn’t anywhere near majestic enough. Yet, the technical application was better, and we do think that we’re at the part of the show where the judges look at past performance. Cam has struggled as of late, whereas Dani has been a solid tattooer and has put herself in good standing time and time again. We think if she continues to struggle, it could be an issue down the road, but she did enough to get by here.
It felt like the right time for Cam to go. He was this season’s lightning rod, but unlike some of the other people within this archetype, he just didn’t have the consistency to back up some of his claims. He is still a great artist that proved a lot this season, and there’s no denying that and without him the competition will be a little less entertaining. We suppose that this also signals the end of the Creepy Jason, Cam, and Laura “alliance” (if you want to call it that) that felt like it was finale-bound earlier this season. For the record, Laura won Tattoo of the Day for her take on the mandala tattoo Cam wanted and we still say we won’t be surprised if she is wearing the Ink Master crown at the end of it all.
What did you think about Ink Master season 12 episode 13?
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This review was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.