“Ink Master” Season 8 is gearing up to be the craziest one yet.
The Spike reality series returns on Aug. 23, introducing a new “Peck v. Nuñez” twist. While past seasons of the show have pitted 18 artists against each other for the title of “Ink Master” and $100,000 grand prize, this season will start with 30 of the strongest tattoo artists in the industry.
The 30 competitors will have to prove to judges Dave Navarro, Oliver Peck and Chris Nuñez that they have what it takes to be the next Ink Master. But a lot more is on the line this year. The winner will also get a guest residency at their mentor’s shop. Only 18 of those 30 contestants will be chosen to join Nuñez or Peck’s team. Although there can be only one winner at the end, this “team” twist mixes “camaraderie and rivalry.”
“We’ve never done anything like this before,” Navarro teases in the latest promo video.
Nuñez and Peck will select their top nine to compete. The artists will be tested on their technical skills, as well as “on-the-spot creativity.” Nuñez, peck and Navarro will continue to judge like previous seasons, however, the show is doing away with the human canvas jury. In its place, the team safe from elimination that week will form a “jury of peers and nominate artists from the opposing team up for elimination.”
Despite the “team” aspect, there will still be a lot of drama on “Ink Master” Season 8. Every artist thinks that they’re at the top of the competition, and the contestants will continue to use the skull picks to their advantage. But in the end it comes down to be “mentally centered.” As Nuñez points out, it “doesn’t matter if you’re the most talented artist on the planet.” You have to be able to play the game and handle the competition.
“It’s all about decisions,” Navarro says. “If they make smart decisions the game will unfold in their favor. If they take risky chances they could fumble. But at this point in the game it’s anybody’s to take.”
“Ink Master” Season 8 premieres on Spike on Tuesday, Aug. 23 at 10 p.m. EDT.