In the most jaw-dropping episode of “Ink Master: Rivals,” Aaron, Don and Erik discovered that Josh had been smoking weed during the competition to deal with his anxiety. While Aaron said he didn’t care what Josh smokes, the main point was that the tattoo artist – a front-runner from the start of the season – was breaking the rules of the competition.
Jason, Josh’s rival since Season 3 of “Ink Master,” wanted Josh to own up – and he did.
“I would love to be part of this conversation because it's about me,” Josh said when he saw his fellow competitors huddled. The competitor, who has 10 years of experience in the field, explained that he didn’t think anyone would find it to be a big deal and that he didn’t do it to hurt anybody or to get an advantage. (I mean, who has ever heard of performance-enhancing weed?)
But unfortunately the other contestants didn’t feel the same way. Despite winning the critique of his elimination tattoo, the Empire State Building on the spine of his canvas, Josh had to admit to the judges – Oliver Peck, Chris Nunes and Dave Navarro – that he breached the rules.
As Josh’s rivals waited for him to get ripped apart, the judges simply told him that they only judge the tattoos. Needless to say, nobody was happy when they went back to the house to wait for the verdict on who would get sent home.
“Nobody likes a liar or a cheat,” Cleen Rock One fired at Josh.
Josh continued to apologize to his fellow contestants, but for Erik the only solution was for Josh to pack his bags.
Erik got his wish when the judges called everyone to announce the elimination in episode 11. Despite Cris, Don, Mark and Jason completing tattoos that could “justifiably” send them home, Navarro announced that they had to take Josh’s situation into consideration. Josh had “violated multiple rules” by being in possession of contraband.
He tried to explain that he didn’t do it to cheat and that he didn’t think it would be such a big deal. Josh continued that he felt like an “idiot” but understood if they had to send him home.
In a shocking verdict, the judges stated that the contract is very clear and what Josh did was a serious violation of the rules. Josh’s actions were grounds for immediate dismissal.
Peck told the entire group that the judges aren’t there to police the house and that this is the first time in “Ink Master” history that the artist with the best tattoo was being sent home. Navarro told Josh the dreaded 11 words no contestant wants to hear: “You do not have what it takes to be Ink Master.”
Do you think Josh should have been sent home because of weed? Tweet your thoughts to @AmandaTVScoop.