Tonight’s Spike episode of “Ink Master” was titled “Firing Line.” The season six theme is “Master vs. Apprentice,” where each artist will be going against their teacher or their pupil. As always, the judges will be Dave Navarro, Oliver Peck and Chris Nunez. The last artist standing will receive $100,000, a feature in Inked Magazine and the best prize of all; the enviable title of “Ink Master.” The field of eighteen is down to twelve as Kito was eliminated last week.
As the episode begins, St. Marq has gotten on everyone’s last nerve. He believes that he is the best artist there, and is out to crush Chris Blinston, who he sees as his biggest competitor. When the artists were brought down to the studio, Dave announced they were there for the next elimination tattoo; yes, they heard it correctly, no flash challenge.
This week’s theme is texture, to make a tattoo come alive. The challenge was to make their canvas look like an animal; to make their skin like their favorite animal. This time they must tattoo in teams of four, on the same canvas at the same time. This must be the most painful predicament for a canvas for six hours. It must be done consistently by all four artists, or it will be destroyed. They will also be judged as a team. The canvases chose four skulls to determine who the teams would be. The woman who wanted cheetah fur chose Dave, Katie, Big Ceeze and Chris. Duffy, Tyler, St. Marq and Matt were chosen by the woman who wanted snakeskin. Kruseman, Craig, Erik and Marisa were chosen by the guy who wanted crocodile skin.
As the tattooing proceeded, two of the three canvases were having a tough time. The pain was overwhelming and not all of the artists had compassion. St. Marq felt that he did not want to work with his fellow artists because he was so much better than them; who canonized him anyway? The woman who was the canvas for Chris, Dave, Katie and Big Ceeze was finally pulled and Chris was pissed that they had an unfinished tattoo.
At the critique, Tyler, St. Marq, Duffy and Matt were not in sync. St. Marq made his so much darker that the rest who had blue and orange to follow the pattern, but he did not want to work with anyone else and therefore, jeopardized the team. For Kruseman, Erik, Craig and Marisa, they did a great job and did not torture the guy by taking turns rather than all tattooing at once. Chris, Dave, Big Ceeze and Katie worked as a team, but the canvas broke down.
The judges voted Kruseman, Erik, Craig and Marisa as the best of the day. For the other two teams, each team had to vote for one artist on their team who was the weakest. They were sent to the loft to make their choices. The teams made their choices and St. Marq was voted the worst on that team. Chris knew that if they sent Big Ceeze down, he would lose against St. Marq. He coerced his team to vote for him to go against St. Marq. Because Kruseman, Erik, Craig and Marisa won the overall, they had to design a textured tattoo for both artists to do head to head. They came up with an anatomical heart for the challenge. They left out some parts so they can use liberty in the challenge. The judges were shocked that this early in the competition, the best artists were going up against each other.
The tattoo will take four hours and it was time for the best artist to win. At the critique, they faced the judges and St. Marq’s heart was by far worse than the one Chris did. The one Chris drew looked like one from a medical journal. The judges voted for Chris to stay and Dave told St. Marq he did not have what it takes to be “Ink Master.”