“Best Ink” is back for its third season, and by and large, very little has been changed about the way Oxygen’s tattoo competition works. You have artists (though this time more of them in 14) competing for a title after going through various challenges that test their ability. It’s not just about artistry, but also showing off the necessary level of technique and skill that someone who calls themselves an artist should have.
For any tattoo show, whether it be “Best Ink” or “Ink Master,” we always feel like the first two or three episodes or more about weeding people out than showing us anything that is phenomenal. This was the same here. The first ink challenge was about making sure that those fundamentals were together, while creating a tattoo using some familiar tattoo designs like a skull, a rose, or a dagger. Pretty basic, right? Well, you then had problems like Izzi struggling with the printer, and then Lara wanting to put her mandala into the tattoo since it is one of her signatures.
Here is what we want to know: How in the world did Lara convince some guy to get something permanently tattooed on his body that he didn’t want going in? That is something that seriously annoys us about certain artists. Even though these skins aren’t paying you, the show is giving you the opportunity. This isn’t about putting your trademark on people’s bodies, and there’s a difference between doing that, and offering suggestions of way to spruce up an idea.
But, Lara was not the person who went home this first week. It was instead Carey, whose story was mostly boring in that he just struggled with some of the basics. His tattoo was rough and had some pretty major mistakes that someone with his experience should not be making, and that’s a huge red flag. While these two and Izzi struggled, Karly won the first challenge, and Darnell and May May were also each both at the top. While this doesn’t mean that these three are the likely finalists, they are at least contestants who will stay put for at least a few more weeks pending some sort of epic meltdown. They’ve shown already that they can do good work.
In the end, this “Best Ink” episode was a good way to start the season … but also hardly revolutionary. The painting-themed flash challenge was mostly a bummer, which is why we didn’t talk about it much here. We have an entertaining group of contestants, but the show has the same flaws in that the flash challenges are sometimes silly, and we don’t care about the skins’ stories as much as the show wants us to. Grade: B-.
What did you think about the “Best Ink” premiere from Wednesday night? Share some of your thoughts on the subject below, and click here if you are interested in reading some more news related to the tattoo competition.