Tonight’s “Ink Master” presented the Rivals with a “Three’s a Crowd” challenge. What is at stake is an editorial feature in Inked magazine, the monetary prize of $100,000 and the most enviable of all prizes; the title of “Ink Master.”
“Ink Master Rivals” sent Robbie home last week and Chris told him that he would love to have sent Emily home. Now with twelve artists left, anyone can go home this week.
As the episode begins, the artists are in the loft, and all but Robbie return. When Emily sits down she tells Angel and Caroline that she was told that they should have been there too.
In the studio, Dave tells them that there is no flash challenge again on this particular day and welcomed them to their next elimination tattoo. This week’s theme is the fundamentals; which is everything that goes into making a smooth tattoo, and they must tattoo in American Traditional style. Oliver is a specialist in American Traditional, so they can expect the most stringent judging from him. Chris stated that they sent Robbie home, and did not want to send him home, but he tore up the skin of his canvas leaving them no choice. Dave then told them that they must tattoo in teams of three, which all artists abhor. The work will be tag-teamed and must switch artists each hour. The tattoo must look like one artist designed and tattooed it. The canvases each chose three skulls to determine the teams. Angel, Emily and Josh were the first team. The next team was Erik, Cleen Rock One and Ty’Esha, followed by Julia, Mark and Jason, leaving the team of Aaron, Cris and Don. They will tattoo as a team and be judged as a team.
Josh Hibbard and Angel were discussing the tattoo with their canvas, but Emily was nowhere to be found. With six hours to tag-team tattoo, each artist should be working just two hours. Don found Emily, who relayed to him that she was in a lot of pain. She believes that her past experience with endometriosis is the cause. She decided to return and tattoo despite the pain, she refuses to be on the bottom again, but can she work in that much pain? When she returned, she asked Josh to load up her machine for her, and he swore she deserved the Academy Award for acting and he felt that he did not have to tattoo, just be the janitor cleaning up everyone’s mess.
When time was up, back in the loft, Emily was like a little lamb. She said although she was in pain, she did her best work. Josh did not believe it and even told Angel that he and she did a crappy job. At the judging, Josh, Emily and Angel were first and judged to have an awesome tattoo. Cleen, Erik and Ty’Esha had an eagle tattoo, it was clean and bold, but the tail feathers were too large. Erik, Don and Cris did a lighthouse in a bottle, but the line work on the bottle looked like a kindergartner did it. Mark, Jason and Julia were criticized for their line work on the clipper ship, and the lettering below it which was Jason’s.
When Ollie came to the loft, he called for everyone to return to be judged. Josh, Emily and Angel had the best tattoo of the day and were safe from elimination. The rest of the artists were not safe. Then Dave announced that each team must decide who was the weakest on the team. As they headed back to the loft, the decision was in their hands because those weakest were up for elimination. Back at the loft, this decision caused a lot of distress for the artists. Nobody wanted to eliminate someone unnecessarily, but someone had to go. It was easier for Cleen and Erik to choose Ty’Esha, as she was outnumbered. Mark and Julia left it to Jason, as each voted for the other. Erik, Don and Cris were picking apart the areas where the judges were most critical. In the end, the ones put up for elimination were Ty’Esha, Don, who was unanimously voted and surprised everyone by voting for himself. Lastly, Julia voted for Mark, but Mark and Jason voted for Julia, putting her up against Ty’Esha and Don.
The three artists had to do a tattoo designed by Oliver Peck; they were to tattoo head-to-head for four hours. The winners would stay and the loser would pack their bags and leave the competition. The American Traditional tattoo was a skull and cross bones with a dagger going through it. Ty’Esha put the tattoo on backwards because if a tattoo has eyes, it should always face inward. Although all tattoos had clean lines, the fact that Ty’Esha’s was backwards, was what sent her home as Dave told Ty’Esha she did not have what it takes to be “Ink Master.”