The contestants on Season 6 of “Ink Master” are slowly but surely getting knocked out of the competition. Episode 11 found “bad a-- b----“ Katie eliminated from the show after getting nominated for the worst tattoo of the day by the human canvas jury. Her mentor, Matt, is still in the running for the title of “Ink Master” and $100,000 grand prize … but can he keep his head in the game after losing his partner?

Only seven artists remain in Season 6, and they’re feeling the heat. Chris thinks that Matt is now weak and has “no legs to stand on” now that Katie is gone. But Matt is working on striking a new alliance with Erik to keep his “team” strong. However, Erik’s been able to stay neutral throughout the competition so far, and doesn’t seem to have any plans on ruffling any feathers in the final weeks.

In episode 12, the remaining artists will be tested on finesse. Not only must they complete an awesome tattoo, but they must also handle difficult and/or sensitive canvases. To test finesse, judges Dave Navarro, Oliver Peck and Chris Nunez reveal that the contestants will be working with a guest artist to create a tattoo for their canvas.

The guest artists have down syndrome, and are with family members who want their designs tattooed on them. Their stories make the entire room tear up, and Nunez warns the contestants not to let them down.

Everyone dives into the flash challenge, ready to create a meaningful piece of art. Chris creates a tattoo with a water color-like feel to it. Matt coaches his guest artist and is able to teach her a little bit about drawing. Besides creating a beautiful tattoo, his guest artist was also able to learn something. Kruseman’s partnership turned emotional for him, and he was able to open up about one of his own tattoos. He reveals that one of his tattoos was created using the ash of his late brother, so that he’s able to be with him wherever he goes. Meanwhile, Craig’s guest artist was a huge fan of his and excited to be able to work with him. Together the two create a bright tattoo that the judges wish they saw more of from the competitor.

All in all, the judges are impressed with everyone’s work and decide that there are no losers in the flash challenge. But what does that mean for the elimination tattoo? Usually the winner of the flash challenge gets to assign the human canvases for the elimination tattoo. Since there was no winner, Navarro reveals that the contestants will all pick a skull, and the skull marked with an “X” will have the ability to assign the human canvases.

Ink Master Judges Chris Nunez, Dave Navarro and Oliver Peck create a twist for the elimination tattoo in episode 12 after deciding not to choose a winner for the flash challenge. Photo: Spike

Erik lucks out and lands the special skull. But he’s been a wild card all season and no one knows how he’ll shake things up.

Since a bad canvas can result in elimination, Chris makes one last effort to get Erik on his team with Tyler. However, Erik’s cautious about becoming an alley. He’s afraid that by joining forces with Chris and Tyler he’ll have an immediate target on his back. On top of that, Erik reveals that he thinks Chris is “definitely an a------.”

For the elimination challenge, the artists must complete Victorian-style tattoos using finesse. The twist is that the design must be on a sensitive area of the body … the neck.

Tyler has his whole neck covered and knows that inking the area is not easy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any of the human canvases are aware of the pain that accompanies. One canvas has only sat through an hour and a half tattoo, while another says she wants the entire area starting at her chin covered.

In a surprising move, Erik only hands out three skulls specifically. After that, he randomly shuffles for the remaining four.

Kruseman tries to keep his design simple, and convinces his canvas to ditch her hour glass/ birdcage idea. Meanwhile, it’s smooth sailing for Craig’s canvas, even though he has only sat for short periods of time. The same can’t be said for Chris. The skin on his canvas is tough, and he’s having a hard time getting the ink to take.

Heading into the critique, the judges praise Tyler for his strong design and Craig for his clear image (despite a wonky circle). Dave Navarro loves Kruseman’s simplicity, and the judges all agree that Duffy’s piece is “pretty f---ing great.”

However, some of the contestants produce some major flops. They call Erik’s piece “unattractive,” and compare Matt’s tattoo to it looking like his canvas has a slit throat. Meanwhile, Chris gets called out for having a scratchy piece that will age terribly.

In the end Duffy wins the challenge, and three contestants get called to the bottom – Erik, Matt and Chris.

Chris immediately begins to panic, claiming other contestants skate by while he never tried to play it safe. But the judges don’t want to hear it. All three artists created bad tattoos, and someone has to pay the price. Although the human canvas jury – including Matt’s canvas – nominated him as the worst tattoo of the day, the judges ultimately decide that Erik’s piece was the weakest. He’s eliminated from the competition in episode 12, leaving only six contestants in the running for “Ink Master.”