By Victor Farinelli
It is down to the wire, folks. Four contestants are left in the game show of extreme skill and ability to see who is going to be named Best Ink. They must pay income tax on $100,000, and appear on the cover of Tattoo Magazine. HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA, “extreme skill!” I crack myself up sometimes! And Tattoo Magazine? I haven’t picked up this rag in a long time, but when I did, it had some of the crappiest tattoos out there. Back in the day, this wonderfully professional publication contained construction paper pages of black and white photos of color tattoos. Apparently, it has improved somewhat over the years, relying more on artists’ submissions than submissions by people with their own homemade tats...
The producers needed to stretch out the length of the show this week, so they added an extra step to the flash challenge. Contestants were presented with four framed photos of babies. They each chose a picture in random order. Then, they were instructed to draw a sketch of the photo each had selected. The sketches were judged, but before selecting a winner, the contestants were told to tattoo the portrait that they had made. There was a weird moment where you found out that not everyone getting the portrait was the parent. One dude was getting a huge portrait of his girlfriend’s daughter on his upper arm. Can you say stalker? “Hey look baby, I put your kid’s face on my arm and we have only been going out a week!” Awwww, true love.
This week's guest judge was Tattoo Magazine contributing editor Larry Law. After looking at his tattoos, I’m not sure how he could even qualify to be a judge. The top two contestants in the flash challenge were Jarod and DJ. DJ had the worst photograph to use, and his initial sketch looked like the kid... only about seven years older. He fixed that in the tattoo. Jarod, however, was more consistent between his sketch and tattoo. Larry Law picked him as this week’s winner of the $5,000 in ass-cash... ahem, Flash Cash.
(DJ’s portrait tattoo)
(Jarod’s portrait tattoo)
For the ink challenge, they were each given the opportunity to tattoo someone close to them. DJ tattooed his wife. Jarod was paired up with his brother, who is also a tattooist. Teresa tattooed her boyfriend of 11 years. Come on dude! 11 years?! You best be getting her a ring, my fellow shut-in D&D player, or she is gonna kick you to the curb. Finally, Alli tattooed her older brother.
The twist this week (if you want to call it that) was that they were put into pairs competing against each other, and the judges had to pick a top and a bottom person out of each pair. The top two contestants would go onto the final, and one of the bottom two would be sent home. Since Jarod won the flash challenge, he got to choose who he went up against. He chose Alli, of course. Otherwise he would have been on the bottom. That left DJ and Teresa to go head-to-head. The two best tattooists on the show had to compete against each other.
Out of the Jarod/Alli match up, the judges picked Jarod to go on to the finals. Well, yeah, it was kind of a given on this one. Jarod did a decent portrait, but there was nothing awe-inspiring about it. I am sure his brother is happy with it. It is definitely better than Alli’s tattoo.
[caption id="attachment_18481" align="alignnone" width="300"] (Jarod’s tattoo)[/caption]
They gave Teresa a hard time, because the tattoo did not have a clear enough meaning on what it meant between her and nerd boy. That is what he wanted!!! He wanted the universe because he said she was his universe. What can be more meaningful than that? Joe’s just jealous because he can’t see his dick anymore and hates people in love.
[caption id="attachment_18482" align="alignnone" width="300"] (Teresa’s tattoo)[/caption]
Needless to say, since the judges were giving Teresa shit for her tattoo, you knew they were going to pick DJ. DJ did a great tattoo. The contrast between the black and grey tattoo machine and the color in the ribbon and ring were pretty cool. I am not a fan of tattoos of tattoo machines, so the tattoo kinda bored me.
[caption id="attachment_18483" align="alignnone" width="300"] (DJ’s tattoo)[/caption]
Now, who is going to go on to the finals and who is going to have to go home? It’s pretty obvious who they were going to pick out of Teresa and Alli. (Well, I thought that was obvious last week, but what the fuck happened?) Alli’s tattoo was shit. Fucking made no sense. It was supposed to be a clock. Fucking looked goofy. If it wasn’t for Joe coming over to her while she was doing the tattoo and telling her the roman numerals were off, she would have made the numbers all wrong. The face of the clock was fucked up too. She did it on purpose but she went a little overboard on the metaphor.
Teresa’s was good. The cool pixelation at the bottom was pretty neat. Of course they gave Alli the boot back home to Austin. Just because someone tattoos in Austin, Texas doesn’t mean they are good at it. We have tons of shops here and most of them are mediocre.
[caption id="attachment_18484" align="alignnone" width="300"] (Alli’s tattoo)[/caption]
Stay tuned for the season finale, where the final Jeopardy category will be, “Farts on Fire” for $400.
Best Ink Season 2 airs Wednesdays at 10pm (EST)/9pm (CST) on the Oxygen Network.
Victor is a blogger for Tattoo Artist Magazine and can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/victhortheviking.
Read more from Victor here: http://tattooartistmagazineblog.com/?s=Victor+Farinelli
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