I first got into Inkmaster, Spike’s reality tattoo competition show, about halfway through last season. As someone who has tattoos, the premise of this program appeals to me much more than, say, Occupation Double. Every week, a diverse group of artists competes in a specific tattoo challenge, judged by Dave Navarro and a pair of seasoned pros, with the weakest ink sending one competitor packing at episode’s end. An advantage is gained for the weekly competition by winning the “flash challenge,” a test of artistic skills that doesn’t always involve needles–the winner gets to pick who they’re tattooing for the big showdown.
But this year, they’ve added a twist. Not only does the winner get to pick who they wanna ink up, he now gets to assign each “skin” to an artist. This has created a lot more drama and animosity between competitors than we saw in Season One, which is always good for ratings. Let’s face it, TV–and especially reality TV–thrives on drama. After all, no one really cared about Jersey Shore until Snooki got punched in the face. And the winner of the last two flash challenges, an ex-con who goes by Kay Kutta, is all about stirring the shit. You wouldn’t think that a variation on “cutter” would make for a great tattoo handle, and the guy’s clearly not the best artist of the bunch, but he sure talks him some smack. And as the holder of the cards, he’s assigned some of the more skilled competitors some designs that were pretty whack. Hey, I know I’m a fat fuck, but I’d never even dream of getting a back-piece of a city made entirely out of bacon! (Betcha that guy’s going to be on the next season of Tattoo Nightmares, Spike’s new cover-up tattoo show, haha…)
This season’s cast is full of interesting characters from the Marine to the midget, the young gun (from Buffalo, no less!) to the cocky bastard who probably has a penis piece. That said, I’m not sure I see a clear-cut winner, or even a decisive final four, in the bunch as of yet. Speaking of genital modification, however, next week’s episode is set to feature a woman who wants to get a phoenix shooting out of her vagina. Now that’s must-see TV, right there!