Spike is delivering an early Christmas treat for “Ink Master” fans on Tuesday. Season 5 concluded just last week, but viewers must have made Santa’s “good list” this year because the show is returning for a holiday special – “Merry Ink.”

“Merry Ink” will find four fan-favorite contestants returning for a chance to prove that “they should have been chosen as ‘Ink Master.’” The cast members – James Vaughn (Season 1), Tatu Baby (Season 2 and 3), Jime Litwalk (Season 3) and Sausage (Season 4) – will have one episode to make their mark by designing a holiday-inspired tattoo. But of course, there will be some twists along the way.

With $10,000 on the line (and on limited time), the four tattoo artists will completely bypass flash challenges and tattoo the same group of human canvases during “rounds.” The human canvases want “several holiday-themed tattoos,” but they risk getting eliminated just like their artists. “Ink Master” judges Dave Navarro, Chris Nunez and Oliver Peck will return, and after each round will send home one contestant and one human canvas until a winner is determined. Navarro, Nunez and Peck will be judging the tattoos based on technical skills, interpersonal skills and “on-the-spot creativity.”

So, who will win? “Ink Master” fans will have to watch “Merry Ink” to find out, but meet the cast before the holiday special airs:

James Vaughn

merry ink james Vaughn James Vaughn of "Ink Master" Season 1 will be returning for Spike's "Merry Ink" holiday special on Tuesday, Dec. 23. Photo: Spike

Dedicated “Ink Master” fans might remember James Vaughn from Season 1 of the Spike reality show. The tattoo artist from Asheboro, North Carolina, made it to the final three but was beat out by Tommy Helm and Shane O’Neill.

With more than 20 years experience, Vaughn is unique in that he designs “free hand.” His specializes in new Japanese and old school traditional styles.

Tatu Baby

merry ink tatu baby Tatu Baby of "Ink Master" Season 2 and 3 will be returning for Spike's "Merry Ink" holiday special on Tuesday, Dec. 23. Photo: Spike

Tatu Baby is an “Ink Master” veteran, first appearing on Season 2 and returning in Season 3. In Season 2 she placed fourth, just missing the finale. The following season she redeemed herself by making it to the final 3, but placed third in the competition.

Hailing from Miami, Tatu Baby has been tattooing professionally since she was 19. She’s known in the industry for her work in photorealism and black and gray.

Jime Litwalk

merry ink Jime Litwalk Jime Litwalk of "Ink Master" Season 3 will be returning for Spike's "Merry Ink" holiday special on Tuesday, Dec. 23. Photo: Spike

Like Tatu Baby, Jime Litwalk made it to the Season 3 finale. The tattoo artist, who has 20 years' experience, was the runner-up of the season. Working out of Orlando, Florida, Litwalk prides himself in being able to tattoo almost any genre, but his passion is “classic new skool.”


Sausage stormed the series during Season 4, making it all the way into the summer finale. While he managed to beat out Matti Hixson in the final three, Scott Marshall ended up winning the season with his 35-hour back piece.

The Las Vegas artist has 13 years tattooing experience under his belt and recently teamed up with “Ink Master” Season 3 winner Joey “Hollywood” Hamilton to open up a new studio, Revolt Tattoos. Sausage specializes in HD realism, portrait and black and gray.

“Merry Ink” will air on Spike on Tuesday, Dec. 23, at 10 p.m. EST – but that’s not the only “Ink Master” fix that fans can get before 2015. On Tuesday, Dec. 30, the network will air “New Year’s Ink” at 10 p.m. EST with another set of artists.

Will you be tuning in? Tweet your thoughts on the holiday specials to @AmandaTVScoop.