With six artists remaining, we are closing in on the end of this season of Ink Master. The politicking this season has been pretty deep, and it’s only gotten more intense over time. Gentle Jay, who is not going to win, has grown increasingly frustrated with Scott, Halo, and Matti. Especially with Halo and Matti because Jay believes that both of these guys are being duped by Scott.
Scott and Sausage, meanwhile, are having a rapidly intensifying catfight since Sausage doesn’t seem able to wrap his mind around the idea that friendship really has nothing to do with this competition. Every episode there is a difficult canvas (either physically or psychologically) and someone has to wear the Victim Hat. And since Sausage is one of the BEST artists in the competition, it’s not hard to see why he is constantly being thrown tough gigs.
This episode opens with a conversation between Scott and Matti agreeing that if Sausage gets one more difficult canvas it is going to stress him out and result in him turning in a bad tattoo, thus eliminating him and helping Matti rise closer to the top.
Pro boxer Brandon Rios stops by to get some custom grills for his teeth and the artists are tasked with making them. Melissa, the artist from Wisconsin, had no idea what they were talking about. Seriously, she really didn’t know what a grill was, never saw one before she had to make one, with unfamiliar tools, no less.
Still, she rose to the challenge, and turned out one of the best pieces.
Custom grill by Melissa Monroe
That wishbone-looking tooth kept her from winning, however. That honor went to Scott Marshall who gained the ability to, once again, stick a needle in Sausage. Needless to say, this doesn’t sit well with the Vegas superstar.
Custom grill by Scott Marshall
This week’s challenge revolved around creating a detailed portrait of a warrior, any time frame, any culture. This is not surprising since a pro fighter is guest judging, and it offers the artists a chance to show off a lot of detail in weapons, armor, etc.
Scott surprised everyone by taking on a Samurai tattoo, a difficult proposition because of the elaborate, highly detailed nature of their armor. It was not, however, the most difficult of the day, however, since one canvas wanted her ribs done, and another was a complaint machine that was almost as difficult as the canvas that Sausage had to deal with last week.
Gentle Jay got stuck with a stereotypical New York dipshit who just wanted to constantly argue with him about all aspects of the design. This negativity caused Jay to make what Oliver considered to be some bad decisions, like adding extra background. Another terrible decision on his part was to go to the judges complaining that Scott was stealing images and passing them off as his own.
Unfortunately, when he showed his evidence the judges were completely unimpressed. It was pretty obvious that there was no plagiarism involved, and I’m something of an authority on plagiarism myself.
Tops and Bottoms
Viking warrior by Matti Hixson
While five artists went for B&G, there was one maverick who decided to go full color. And it turns out, Matti was right, his decision to go with color really set his tattoo off and knocked it out of the park.
On the bottom of the stack, we found Gentle Jay and Melissa, no surprises with either of those two who are, in my opinion, the weakest of the six remaining. Despite turning in good tattoos, they found themselves getting hammered for minor details. And at this stage, minor details can become major issues.
Aztec Warrior by Melissa Monroe
Gladiator by Gentle Jay
Jay‘s canvas was an asshole, no doubt, but I do agree that the shield is a bit too dark and lacking in detail. On Melissa’s tattoo, the big thing is how the bird helmet is misaligned. Either tattoo could get the artist sent home, but the judges decided to keep everyone on for one more week, not sending anyone home.
I think that decision was motivated mainly by the needs of the network, but I’m not complaining. It will be nice to see all six of them go at it again, just to see if I’m wrong about the Final Four.