By Victor Farinelli
Let the madness begin! The second season of Ink Masters is upon us. Spike TV aired two episodes this last week for our viewing pleasure.
Episode One: Tattooing the Dead
Let’s start off with the season premiere titled “Tattooing the Dead” or “How bad can I fuck up a snake and dagger tattoo.” They start off with what they call the “flash” challenge. It’s usually a non-tattoo related challenge where the winner of the contest gets an advantage in the actual tattoo challenge...
In this challenge they visited a morgue, but instead of using real skin from a dead body, they were instructed to tattoo a snake and dagger on a fake arm or leg. The tattoos were all pretty much skin turds. Maybe it is because half the contestants are emotionally unstable.
Now I know why Dave Waugh was not picked to be one of the contestants on this season of Ink Master. He would have either won the whole shebang or gone insane from the other contestants’ lack of prozac. It is like a bunch of kids going through puberty. Watching, right from the start, it was an emotional rollercoaster. Not for me. I’m fine. I mean the contestants.
Clint Cummings, A.K.A. angry mohawk guy, needs to seriously chill the fuck out. You are not in high school, baggy-pants. You are going to get tons of business from this even if you don’t win. Well, not from me, but you will from some goober, nonetheless. (Does he have enough tattoos to warrant getting his face tattooed? Or is it just to make him look even angrier! grrrrrrrr... I am mean and I have my face tattooed and I have a mohawk that I have spent too much money for hair products to maintain. GRRRRR!)
Anyhow, the winner of the challenge is Jesse Smith. His advantage in the tattoo challenge is that he gets to pick the tattoo he wants to do and also pick which contestant tattoos each client. It could be a good strategy, especially if the tattooist cannot execute the tattoo that the client wants.
The tattoo challenge was called “Virgin Skin,” or “I want to get my first tattoo on my ribs or somewhere else that is fucking super painful, and I am going to move around a lot while you do it so the tattoo looks like warmed over shit when you are done. Oh yeah, and throw up on you too. Thanks for the TAT, man.”
Rule number one: Don’t tell the customer the tattoo doesn’t look good. That is what one of the contestants said to her client. I am not going to go into the banter back and forth between the “artists.” It basically comes down to telling each other their tattoos were great and then saying on the interview camera that it looks like shit. I would hate to be the client who is watching the show now. So let’s just get down to it.
The top two contestants were Steve “I love Satanic shit” Tefft and Sebastian Murphy. Steve did gears ripping out of the skin ala 1989. It is not a bad tattoo but it could have been better. It is lopsided in some places but the lines are fairly clean. Murphy did a funky King ov Hearts (noticed what I did there: I went all metal with the non-metal tattoo.) It is a good tattoo. Definitely above average. The color is nice and solid. Great image too. The other ones are SO BAD, this looks spectacular by comparison, but that's not saying much. Alas, the gears were king on this episode and the judges picked Tefft over Murphy.
At first I thought Tatu Baby was going to go home since Oliver said, “I don't know where you got that face but it should never come back again.” But she was safe this week. She has stated that she has used “her sexuality” in the past to get what she wants. I wonder what kinda action Dave has got going on off-camera. Ron Givens cut the shit out of his client with a bad needle. You can even see it in the picture. Mmmmmm, tasty. The bottom two were Cee Jay Jones and Kay “I don’t like outlines” Kutta. Cee Jay did an angel with a banner on her client’s back. The boobs on the angel are wonky. The neck on the angel is reaching giraffe-like proportions! However, that is not the worst part. The worst part is spelling the bible verse in the banner incorrectly. She spelled Corinthians “Cortnthians.” Ooops. Kutta’s tattoo is not even worth discussing. Needless to say, Cee Jay was the first to go home for her spelling error. Too bad skin does not have spell check.
Episode Two: Semi Nude
Episode two’s flash challenge tested the artists’ abilities in another medium: airbrush. They had to airbrush scantily clad models so that they would blend into the background of a graffiti-strung, dilapidated building. The producers have some crazy artsy-fartsy ideas. “Let's paint people to blend into the scenery like that internet meme BORING. Nothing to see here, move along. It was so boring I didn’t even bother to pay attention to who won.
Every reality TV show has to have its drama. Military veteran TJ Halvorsen got seriously injured in combat and has slipped discs in his back. During the flash challenge he twisted wrong and later went to the ER. The doctor said he would need surgery. He was contemplating whether he should call it quits or keep going. Of course, Angry Mohawk Guy (AMG for short) had to put his two cents in and told him to suck it up. Fuck that. I would not want to go through the crap they have to go through on this show if it meant maybe not walking again. I’m not that tough.
For the tattoo du jour, the contestants had to do a cover-up. Holy Scratcher batman! These are some of the shittiest tattoos I have ever seen. Not “WTF Tattoo” shitty, but close. AMG did a dragon that was shitting out some kinda celtic knot thing. Seriously, the dragon looks like it is defecating something out of Braveheart. Sarah Miller’s piece is a woman’s face with a hand doing that one finger in the mouth/pouty lip thing that you see a lot of girls on Facebook doing these days. “Look I am sexy and I like to take pictures of myself with my dirty fingers in my mouths. Oopsy, I wause wittle naughty girwal, heeheeheehee.”
Sorry, I digress. The face on Sarah’s tattoo is good but the hand is all fucked up. It looks like something out of the Flintstones. Not Wilma or Betty’s hand. I’m talking Fred or Barney. She is afraid of black shading too. Satanic Steve did a bird of paradise for his cover-up. The proportions are so confuckulated that I can only make out the head and flowers. The rest of the bird’s body is this bulbous mess.
The judge’s pick of this week was Jesse Smith’s piece. He did this weird new-school monster that was quite good. However, the judges were a little concerned that he might be a one trick pony and want to see what else he can do. I think he can pull off something other than new-school if he really wanted to.
It was not resident little person, Little Mike's, lucky day. His cover up was a pitbull head. I feel bad because there were a few tattoos that were way worse than his. He definitely got the short end of the stick. Well, at least he can stand up tall and say he gave it every inch. What? Too soon?
And then there were 13. I was hoping for some better artwork out of this group. Spike is starting another show called Tattoo Nightmares. I have a feeling that it will just be a rerun of Ink Masters.
Until next week.
Victor is a blogger for Tattoo Artist Magazine and can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/victhortheviking.
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