Sixteen artists remain on “Ink Master” Season 8, and the pressure is on. Right now Team Peck and Team Nuñez have eight artists each, but that’s about to change. The Spike reality series is dropping the flash challenge and pitting team member against team member in an intense elimination challenge in episode 4.
Judges Dave Navarro, Oliver Peck and Chris Nuñez drop a bombshell on the cast that one person from each team will be going home. And, of course, there is a twist. This week they must work in pairs, tattooing shoulder armor on their human canvas at the same time.
Peck and Nuñez create the teams, which makes some contestants happy — and others not so much. The artists will be tested on texture, with Team Peck tattooing a leather look, and Team Nuñez doing metal.
As “Ink Master” viewers know, tattooing is not a team sport. Even artists who get along with each other have trouble tattooing with each other. Plus, they have to deal with difficult human canvases. In the end, the critiques from the judges are rough:
- Matt & Boneface — The judges agree that the two tattoos look similar, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Matt’s designs have a lot of flaws, and neither is applied properly. They look more like “wicker baskets” than leather.
- Ryan & Mike — Both tattoos look like they could have been done by the same artist, which makes the judges happy.
- Gian & Gia — Gian and Gia’s designs work well together, and they successfully hit the leather challenge.
- Dave & Nate — The judges can’t get over how rough both the tattoos are. Besides having a weak design, the application is also terrible.
- Eric & Sketchy Lawyer — There are no issues with Eric and Sketchy Lawyer’s tattoo. The design and application is clean on both.
- Nikki & Kelly — Nikki and Kelly worked really well together, and it showed in their tattoos.
- John & Sirvone — The judges rip apart John and Sirvone for their mismatching color palette and application. The tattoos look more like stone, rather than metal.
- Tito & Kevin — Tito and Kevin succeeded with their application, but their design doesn’t impress the judges.
Dave and Nate have the worst tattoo of the day on Team Peck, and John and Sirvone have the worst tattoo on Team Nuñez. Fortunately for them, they have one more chance to prove themselves. Dave and Nate, as well as John and Sirvone must go head-to-head and tattoo an animal in black and grey realism. Two artists will then be eliminated — one from Team Peck and the other from Team Nuñez.
Heading into the challenge, Nate already has a leg up on Dave. A majority of what Nate does is realistic animal tattoos. It’s clear that everyone is against Dave, and he knows it.
After the judges critique both tattoos, it’s clear that Nate is the winner. Even Nuñez calls it “top notch.” They send Dave packing from Team Peck.
As for Team Nuñez? John and Sirvone both design smooth pieces that are well done. Dave Navarro likes John’s piece better, but judges Peck and Nuñez agree that Sirvone killed it with the texture in his. John is eliminated from Team Nuñez.