Ink Master season 13 episode 5 review: Can Team South survive?

Tonight, Ink Master delivered one of the most controversial eliminations of the season — and a big part of the reason why comes via the timing of it all.

It would’ve been one thing if the Paramount Network series decided to eliminate just one contestant over the course of the evening. Yet, they decided that they were going to eliminate two instead. What happened to Money Mike was crummy just because he didn’t have advanced warning that it could happen. We’re not a fan of the on-the-spot elimination and never will be, since he know goes home playing a game of what-if. He was also a part of an unorthodox challenge where each team had to tattoo the same canvas at the same time. How often do you do that in real life? He also found himself in a tough spot because his tattoo felt so different from his other South team members in Jason Elliott and Jordi Pla, who changed up some of their plan close to application.

Alas, there’s nothing Money Mike can do about his exit now — he’s gone, and with his exit, Team South was down to just two members. With the East and the West safe, the final tattoo challenge came down to the South versus the Midwest. The subject matter? Insects.

Jason Elliott is quickly making a case for himself as one of the most bizarre contestants this season. It’s almost as though he enjoys taking on a heel role and intentionally going against most of the stuff that the judges like — and then delivering tattoos that are so good that they can’t ignore them. He’s such an odd, openly-defiant contestant who seems gleeful about going against the grain. For the sake of drama, we kinda need him there for a while.

The interesting storyline near the end of the episode was the idea that Jason could’ve been the only member of Team South, given that Jordi’s tattoo was up for elimination — heck, the guy even suggested at one point that he could go home given the competition out there! This was just one of those challenges where there were no real duds and everyone was pretty solid. You could’ve made a case for just about anyone going in the end.

Yet, Jake Parsons found himself eliminated all because of one thing — a crown that he threw atop his insect’s head. If he’d just not included that, maybe he’d still be there and the South would be a one-man band with Jason playing all the instruments. Now, we’re in a situation where the Midwest has finally lost its first team member. Good on them for making it this long. (Also, this was the first time Frank Ready was slightly vulnerable — and his tattoo was still awesome.)

What did you think about Ink Master season 13 episode 3?

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