Ink Master season 13 premiere review: How the Turf War begins

Ink Master season 12 episode 6The Ink Master season 13 premiere is understandably going to be overshadowed by the news of Oliver Peck’s departure at the end of the season. That’s unavoidable, and there will be a certain strangeness attached to the season.

Yet, now that Oliver’s exit has been confirmed, we’re going to do our best to focus in some of these reviews on what’s happening in terms of the art and the people busting their butts to do some awesome stuff. There are twenty artists on this season, with the principal goal for all of them being getting that title and the money that goes along with it. This season, there are four teams, which each one of them based on a certain part of the country — the North, the South, the East, and the West. Without a Flash Challenge this time around, the team twist felt a little looser and not as important to the overall narrative.

Nonetheless, we did have some good drama near the end of the episode as drawing a patriotic tattoo proved to trip some people up — and it came close to sending a returning artist in Jason Elliott home the very first night. It seemed as though he got a little too caught up on the game of the show, as he previously tried to gauge where he wanted to end up in the pack of artists. It’s good to be strategic, but there is such a thing as going a little bit overboard with it.

While some of the contestants who were successful in the first part of the challenge (creating a tattoo indicative of their home state) had immunity, the remainder found themselves in said patriotic face-off. With Jason narrowly escaping, it ended up being between Emac and Nychelle Elise. With that, we had our first significant debate of the season — if you are a judge on Ink Master, do you prefer a simple tattoo or a more complicated but flawed one? Nychelle’s tattoo was deemed the more technically challenged and she was sent out, but it’s fair to wonder about Emac’s future, as well. His piece was so small that he’s not going to be able to compete if he can’t work a little bit faster. Maybe this episode was just about his growing pains.

In general, though, it seems as though this season could prove to be rather great. Angel Rose, Jimmy Snaz, and Frank Ready proved that they were ready to deliver from the very first challenge, and there were some other first-time artists that brought it and were eager to prove themselves from the get-go. All you can ask for in this season is competition — and luckily, we’re delivering so far.

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What was your take on the Ink Master season 13 premiere?

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

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