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  1. Fr, I know they had to adjust on short notice, but they couldn't have given us 60 seconds of Dave or the contestants on camera to explain the situation instead? It was a very cold and metallic send off. I tend to agree with everything you said here. I thought all 3 back pieces were really, really good. Angel's was laid out well--lot's of skin allowing the image to breathe and stand out. Jimmy's had the single most striking image (the woman's face was incredible), but I thought the snake was meh, and that he took a bit of a cop out by not doing the snake head. Bob's had the most elements, which probably makes it the most "difficult" of the three, but yeah, some of those elements didn't work out perfectly. It was nice to see Bob continue the trend of a finale tattoo with cockeyed fake breasts...the contestants really just can't resist themselves, can they? I liked Jimmy's american traditional. It was a bit busy for me, but I recgonize that that also seems to be a part of the style. Between the biomechs, I preferred Bob's. Angel's had a nice color palette but Bob's seemed to fit better, which is what biomech is all about imo. I think it's too close to call without knowing what the leg tattoos would have looked like. I'm inclined to think that Jimmy would have a slight lead prior to the live tattoo. But it was close enough for any of the three to win or lose still.
  2. I'm disappointed for the artists for than anything. My gut reaction is why couldn't they just hold a de-facto finale at the start of the next season? But I understand that there are a lot of logistics and factors involved and that this is probably for the best. Oh well. Also bummed because I honestly don't know who I would have picked as the favorite. In most seasons, there is usually a clear frontrunner, whether or not that person ends up winning (hello Cleen vs Jason Clay Dunn and Tony vs Tiffer). My gut feeling tells me that Bob would have won, but I could honestly have seen that trio ending up any which way. 3 talented and incredibly likable artists in the finale. Lastly, I must say farewell to Oliver. I have no interest in discussing his actions or the decision to let him go. But I know this--I have enjoyed his presence on the show the last 8 years and greatly appreciate everything he has done to make Ink Master what it is. Ultimately, I watch Ink Master because I enjoy it, and Oliver has been a part of that foundation. In a way it was fitting to have his final episode feature a "Friday the 13th" tattoo marathon that he has helped pioneer in real life. I wish him nothing but the best and will miss having him as a judge. Hopefully the show can adjust and continue going strong for more seasons to come. Cheers to season 13
  3. Cute flash challenge, terrible elmination challenge, and an inevitable pardon. Meh The show mismanaged the timing of the pardons and backed themselves into a corner where they had no choice but to do a pardon this week. Assuming a final 3, there is no way to go into the second to last episode with 4 artists remaining and still a pardon to use. You'd have to eliminate somebody, pardon them, and then do another challenge and another elimination. Wouldn't really make sense. Jerrell turned out to be the beneficiary of that situation. Interesting to think about the fact that Bob, Kelly, and Jimmy would be our final 3 without the pardon mechanic. I'm afraid Kelly will be the one to suffer for being quiet and not as "popular" as other contestants. We all know the show would LOVE to have Jimmy and Angel in the finale. The last spot is sort of up for grabs in my opinion. Looks like some version of the "tattoo marathon" will be coming next week. I generally find the second to last episode to be the best of the season. Lot's of high quality tattoos, lot's of cool designs, and usually an incredibly difficult decision to make at the end. And we'll be getting the added drama of another double elimination.
  4. You're correct. Hiram's instagram and website are both full of beautiful portrait work. Unfortunately, he'll be added to the long list of artists over the years who got sent home for doing poorly on what was supposed to be their specialty.
  5. At the end of the day, the chin and lower cheek area of Frank's tattoo was hideous. She looked like she had toad skin. No choice but to send him home. Hiram on the other hand got a bit of a raw deal. Not a fan of the "surprise" double elimination. Anyone who can do the math (number of competitors compared to number of episodes remaining) knew a double elimination was coming. I would prefer if they announced prior to the challenge that it would be a double elimination. That could have impacted golden skulls or the choices made in design/tattooing. With that said, I agree that Hiram's tattoo was worse than Bob's. The perspective of Hiram's face just never looked quite right to me. Likewise, with 16 episodes (next week is 14) and one pardon left, it's essentially guaranteed that next week will be a pardon. And then another double elimination in episode 15 to go from 5 down to the final 3. I wonder what the finale will be like. Is it truly "live"? And if so, how will that be impacted by Covid-19 restrictions? Will Oliver be there given his release from the show? Or will he be allowed since this is the same season? Confusing times.
  6. I figure you've got it pegged. The "pardon order" probably goes Jimmy > Bob > Frank/Jerrell depending on who's in the bottom. Angel isn't getting saved again and I don't get the feeling it would be used for Kelly or Hiram. I was especially surprised when Dave jumped on the bandwagon. He's usually truer to the spirit of the challenge than that. Not that it would have mattered. Any of the bottom 3 were going to be saved in that situation. 3 returning artists in the bottom and two pardons burning a hole in their pockets with the number of remaining episodes dwindling. There was never a doubt. Saw on Angel's instagram that she turned 25 a couple days ago, meaning she was 24 during filming and probably 22 during filming of her first season? And she mentioned this episode that she's only been tattooing for 3.5 years...did she really only have a year or so of experience on her first season?! She's clearly an incredible natural talent in that case.
  7. I'm convinced the artists could have had 12 hours to do this challenge instead of 7 and it still wouldn't have mattered much. I'm usually amazed at what the contestants can produce out of ridiculous mediums, but I think this one might have been a bit too ridiculous for anything good to even theoretically be possible. I've had this feeling for weeks now, but this season is incredibly close at the top. Raul and Jessa figure to be the two weakest left, but after that it's tough to call. You could make an argument for any combination of Angel, Bob, Hiram, Frank, Jason, and Jimmy to make the finale imo. Jerrell is combustible and Kelly isn't getting the edit (guy has got to be one of the quietest Ink Master contestants of all time, right?) so I'm not as high on them. Jimmy's nobility might get him in trouble. In the preview, it sounds like he's already trying to volunteer himself for more sudden death tattoos. Wouldn't be surprised if an elimination, pardon, and then finale appearance is in his future.
  8. Jason isn't my favorite, but he's done some really cool things this season. His "I'm going to make an insane design because f-you" attitude has produced a lot of this season's better tattoos. I'm glad he was pardoned. Respect in general to Jimmy and Jason for stepping up. Also respect to Raul for knowing that he was the weak link but stepping up to the plate anyways and doing enough to stay against two of the competition's best. I think the second half of this season is shaping up to be very competitive. There's no real frontrunner in my opinion and I think the placing of the final 6/7 artists will be very much up for grabs when we get to that point.
  9. First elimination: Money Mike seems like a nice guy, but he's clearly not at the skill level of most of the other competitors Second elimination: a coin-flip for me. Both tattoos were fine. Naturally they avoided reducing the South to just Jason this early in the competition which tipped the scale.
  10. Hey Arlene, if you don't want to get thrown under the bus, then maybe you shouldn't go around proactively telling people information that is the exact opposite of what's correct. You can basically guarantee right now that a pardoned contestant will make it to the finale. Ink Master has to show off their newest gimmick. Plenty of fat left to trim the next few episodes.
  11. So the "midwest" team is Oklahoma, Idaho, Illinois, and Colorado x2.... Jason is annoying. Which is odd, cuz he absolutely wasn't THIS annoying last time. I'm starting not to feel bad that he got absolutely robbed when the judges sent Roly T Rex and his atrocious shark to the finals instead of him. Glad Angel did well, I always remember her being pleasant. Hiram on West seems like he's gonna be a threat. Rip Oliver
  12. Really nice tattoos by the coaches. I do admit that I especially liked Ashley's. IMO you could have put those in just about any order and I would have believed you. Impressive stuff. As for the finalists--If we're judging based soley on likability then my rankings would have been 1) Jason 2) Dani 3) Laura. I thought Jason's badass female pirate was stunning. So many cool details and as the judges love to say, you could "read it from a mile away". I was also impressed with Dani. I was afraid that with biomech as her style she never really had a chance. Biomech takes away the ability to do something recognizable. However, what she did was really, really cool. The overlapping light sources were impressive and I thought it had a very appealing shape overall. Sometimes biomech verges on bizarre, but her's made a lot of sense. It had a bit of a reactor/generator/energy vibe to it that worked. Something about Laura's doesn't sit right with me. Someone got close to how I feel when they said it felt "compact". I get that surrounding your image with those black clouds is sort of the correct Japanese style, but it just wasn't vibing with me. With that being said, I acknowledge that Jason's really wasn't realism at all. It was blatantly illustrative style and the judges correctly nailed him for it. Because of that, all things taken into consideration I would have gone 1) Dani 2) Laura 3) Jason. Looking ahead: grudge match is gimmicky, and quite frankly overplayed at this point. However, season 13 "Turf War" actually sounds pretty promising. Crossing my fingers it's an individual competition (4 separate teams seems like too many anyways, I hope). Overall I thought it was a strong season. The best one we've had in awhile. See you all in January!
  13. 1) Laura 2) Jason 3) Dani Coaches Champ: who knows. I'll guess Megan Jean. Would Jake's tattoo have been eliminated if the judging was totally blind and impartial? I don't know. Do I generally feel that these 3 were the best artists from this season? Yeah, I think so. A solid group of contestants this season. There weren't any Joey Hamiltons or Scott Marhsalls, but Laura, Dani, Pon, Cam, and Jake is a pretty solid final 5 all things considered.
  14. I can't believe they had the audacity to send Pon home. Just another of the countless examples of how the judging is completely rigged. .....lmao just kidding. That tattoo was beat. The show tried its best to make it seem like Laura and Jason might be in danger, but that was an absolute landslide. The second I saw that Jake's tattoo looked nice, I knew Pon was doomed. Even though I believe he's got the lowest ceiling of the remaining 4, I find myself rooting for Jake to make the finale. He reminds me a lot of Erik Siuda from season 5. Nothing fancy, just keeps to himself and does solid work. I never would have expected at the beginning of the season that he'd be final 4 so it would be nice to see him sneak into the finale. Easy guy to root for.
  15. Never really saw Cam as that unlikable. Yeah, he's cocky and arrogant but I'm not even sure he makes my top 15 most unlikable contestants list. And he actually had some talent, unlike some of the arrogant hacks we've had over the years. Might as well toss Jake and Pon into the dungeon next week and let them fight it out. The show wants their male/female 2v2 and Jason figures to be safe as the winningest contestant remaining. The episodes flow so much better without teams and coaches. Less drama, more artwork to look at, and a better sense of how talented each of the artists is on their own merit. I don't even remember who the returning coaches from the first half of the season were, let alone which of them advanced to the "coaches finale". Laura v Jason seems to be the destined showdown at this point. Possible foreshadowing with Laura admitting in an interview that Jason is probably her biggest competition.
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