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A true test of the Ink Master skills this week, with a challenge some remember better than most.

After another veteran said goodbye to the Ink Master loft last week. And a new stronger team comes in to fill in the spot – a team we’ve already met in Season 6. Representing Black Cobra Tattoos in Sherwood, Arkansas, it’s Katie McGowan and Matt O’Baugh. We already know them as a Master and Apprentice duo that sticks together and we know they’re both very skilled at what they do.

Katie McGowan and Matt O'Baugh

A Moving Flash Challenge

The game is never better than when the artists have proper motivation and are determined to do their best by their clients. And when the inspiration for the canvases are their little ones, grown men and women are moved to tears.

Testing consistency this week, the artists’ challenge was to recreate kids’ scars or disability apparatuses on the skin of their parents. From insulin pumps to operation scars, the teams put their all into these tattoos. The result was some gorgeous empathy pieces. It was Unkindness Art who took the prize with Erin once again showing off her head-tattooing skills.

Masters Challenged by The Masters

Once again, the week’s challenges are in honour of the new-comer team. But never has the challenge been this close to the original test the team had failed. Both Matt and Katie were in the bottom three, with Katie ending up leaving the competition, for a fine art tattoo. Once again, this challenge rears its gorgeous head.

During the skull pick Doom and Erin kind of shot themselves in the foot with a detail-heavy Goya painting. They even ended up in the bottom three. In the meantime their allies were either thriving or struggling as well.  Artistic Skin Design knocked the Van Gogh portrait out of the park, taking Tattoo of the Day once again.

Artistic Skin Design, Van Gogh
Tattoo of the Day – Artistic Skin Design

Judgement Day

Strangely enough, two out of the three teams in the alliance ended up in the bottom after one of them had the power. Allegory Arts did a fine job as far as technical application goes, but they chose the wrong half of the painting to represent the piece. The judges were not happy about it, and Navarro voted for them as an unfinished tattoo.

Allegory Arts, Saint Jerome Writing
Allegory Arts

For the first time, there was a three-way split with voting. Each judge focused on something else. Nuñez was unhappy about the inconsistencies in Unkindness’s Goya piece and voted them out. Peck on the other hand judged Black Spade Tattoo on the technical application and unfinished look of their Klimt piece. In the end tattooing and not fine art is what we’re here for, so Nuñez changed his vote to Black Spade Tattoo. King Ruck was rightfully upset with E.S.’s constant lagging in his work. However, he took too long to address it with his teammate. Unfortunately, that cost him and his studio the chance at $200,000 and the bragging rights of Master Shop.

Here is Black Spade’s attempt at recreating The Kiss, a couple of their own works, and the rest of the elimination tattoos from Episode 8.

Black Spade, The Kiss
Black Spade Tattoo

E.S. Tattoo - day of the dead girls

E.S. 1 - roses and watches
E.S.

King Ruck Tattoo - skull cook

King Ruck 1 - forest on ankle tattoo
King Ruck
Unkindness Art, Witch's Sabbath
Unkindness Art
Basilica, Dancers on the Bar
Basilica Tattoo
Black Cobra, Dancers on the Bar
Black Cobra Tattoo
Classic Trilogy, Creation of Adam
Classic Trilogy
Old Town Ink, The Milkmaid
Old Town Ink
Pinz and Needlez, Banks of the Seine
Pinz and Needlez

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