For a few weeks now, “Best Ink” had us really riding high. We weren’t complaining too much about the tattoo sob stories, the canned lines from its host, or the obvious winners’ edit of Teresa that has been going strong since the first week. This was all thanks to some innovative challenges and frankly some pretty cool tattoos.
It’s too bad, then, that this week’s elimination has us doing a serious head-shake over an elimination that seemed to be almost out of left field. What did Tylor Schwarz do to deserve going home? Basically, he didn’t draw the sort of Blood Puddin’ tattoo that Joe or the rest of the judges were looking for. It was black and gray, for one, and it also was more strictly pin-up and not necessarily something that was edgy or frightening at all.
This elimination, especially over a guy in Derek who was in the bottom three for the third straight week, shows why tattoo competitions have a cog loose in the system. This isn’t like “Top Chef,” where you can get in trouble for cooking a steak on veggie night and be sent home, just because your client wants steak. That steak is not going to stay with that person the rest of their lives (or at least we hope not). A tattoo is forever, and we can’t fault Tylor for giving his skin something that suited her personality, but something that would look good on her darker skin for years to come.
We’re not angry at Joe or the judges, nor are we calling conspiracy, really. There were probably things that went down that we didn’t see, but it felt almost like Tylor was given the finger just for not doing the challenge exactly as specified even though he did the better job then some of the others. Then again, who knows? Maybe this sort of tattoo-gate is exactly what this show needs to get people talking. Getting rid of Tylor does not solve anything, given that it’s still clear that Derek and also Jerod (despite winning himself $3,500 in the flash challenge) are destined to leave the competition within the next few weeks.
So let’s just consider this a temporary detour on the road to the finale, shall we? We didn’t enjoy this episode as much as some of the previous ones, but there is more good stuff coming up ahead.