Tonight’s Spike episode of “Ink Master” was titled “Active Duty.” The season six theme for this tattooing sensation is “Master vs. Apprentice,” where each artist will be working with or against their teacher or their pupil. Many apprentices are gone, and some masters have been told to pack their bags and leave. 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 five as Tyler Nolan was eliminated last week on probably the most questionable elimination yet.
For the Flash Challenge, Dave Navarro told the final five that precision was the topic of the day. For the challenge, they must be creating a design using only nails. The design they create will be on drywall and immediately, some artists questioned their ability performing such a task at the risk of their hands for bigger challenges. It is a precision challenge; where one nail out of place could ruin their design. When the time was up, the nails were put down.
Duffy made a peacock feather and did a considerable job with spacing and size of the nails she used. Matt also did a great job using the proper size nails to create precision. Craig made the Sacred Heart, but was not completed, as was Chris’ angel, but it certainly had more precision. Kruseman’s bat was well-done, and the judges gave him his first win. He will choose the skulls in the elimination challenge, and Chris knows that he is the major target of the other artists.
Kruseman told Duffy that they were the last team in the competition, and he was only considering her and himself reaching the finals. In the studio, Dave announced that nothing requires more precision than a portrait. Portraits are not in Kruseman’s wheelhouse because it must be precise and one small slip could ruin it. The human canvases are every active military and are about to be deployed. They want their loved one close to them forever, especially while they are far apart. Kruseman is shaking in his shoes because he can count on one hand how many portraits he has done in his career. He questioned the canvases and chose as cautiously as he could; but he gave his apprentice a difficult tattoo.
Oliver explained that they saved this challenge near the end of the competition because of the difficulty. Craig’s wanted her husband’s portrait over her heart, so he decided to go smaller. Chris and Matt were doubtful of the choice Kruseman took for himself and especially for the one he gave Duffy. She managed to get her canvas to switch his choice of location from his arm to his thigh to make it easier for her. As time was running out, even the judges were surprised at the choices Kruseman made.
At the critique, Kruseman was up first and although his uniform and medals were precise, the face was terrible and Oliver told him it was painstakingly obvious that portraits are not is thing. Duffy made the woman’s face too round, gave her buck teeth and gave her hair the look of a wig falling off her head. Craig received good marks from the judges, but he had some shading problems with his black and gray tattoo. Matt’s portrait looked like the person; however, he made her look older than she is. Chris’ was amazing, but the judges found flaws anyway. Finally, the judges gave Chris the overwhelming win.
While the human canvas jury deliberated, the five were sent back to the loft. Oliver called for Kruseman and Duffy to come back upstairs; the last master and apprentice in the competition. One will be going home. When the human canvas came to the studio, it was Duffy’s canvas and her husband who came in. The judges stated that the flaws could be fixed by an expert tattooer. With Dave casting the deciding vote, it was he who had to tell Duffy Fortner that she did not have what it takes to be “Ink Master.”