Ink Master season 12 episode 14 review: Who lost out on the final four?

Ink MasterTonight, Ink Master season 12 episode 14 delivered a traditional twist on portrait day — with a heavy dose of irony thrown in there.

When you think about traditional tattooing as a style, the initial reaction would be to say that Pon is the king of it and for good reason. We are speaking, after all, about someone who has done an incredible job delivering on it for much of the season. He’s shown himself to be a very skilled, solid artist — he is someone who just had a bad week this time.

It’s not as though Pon’s elimination came out of thin air during the episode, as there were multiple different components leading up to it. Take, for starters, him not being sold on getting the canvas suggested in the first place. His team had the skull picks after winning the Flash Challenge — in theory, he could’ve made a different choice. Why didn’t he? Chalk that up to feeling the pressure from the other guys and wanting to be a team player. He felt like he could do well enough with it but, after his exit, he was lamenting not standing up for himself more.

The problems with this tattoo were apparent from the start. Not only did his canvas want something full body, but she also wasn’t open to many of the accents or ideas brought up by Pon in deliberation. She was difficult, and that caused him to have a hard time nailing what would usually be a good tattoo for him. He got in his head, and because everyone else on the show this season is so strong, it was hard for him to have that much wiggle room.

There was no sense in Ink Master trying to conjure up some drama this time around — there was no clear debate here. Pon’s tattoo had the most overall issues and while Laura and Creepy Jason each had some issues, they also delivered images that were far more pleasing to look at. They didn’t kill it, but they did whatever they needed to in order to stick around. Dani Ryan, meanwhile, did kill it with her military tribute tattoo, earning Tattoo of the Week after a weaker outing last time around.

On a side note, is Jake Ross suddenly a sleeper contender? If you had said three weeks ago that he’d still be there, we wouldn’t believe it — he’s a talented guy, but he’s so quiet and unassuming it’s easy to forget that he’s there. Yet, he’s quietly put together two of his best tattoos over the past two episodes, and if you were to average them out, he’s probably done a better consistent job than any of the remaining artists in them. Too bad that Ink Master isn’t a cumulative competition; also, we do think people like Laura and Jason have had overall much higher highs. (With Pon’s exit, Jake is the only person left to have never won Tattoo of the Day.

CarterMatt Verdict

Pon had a good run this season, but now we’ve got the field set for an excellent final four! All of the remaining artists are super-strong and they also have a ton of creativity at the same time. Given that this is what we like to see the most in an Ink Master season, we know that we could see some really awesome stuff leading up to the big finale.

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What did you think about Ink Master season 12 episode 14?

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This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.

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