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announcer: On the last episode of "Ink Master"...

- Welcome to the jungle.

- Gah, I wish I could hammer like you.

announcer: In the flash challenge,

the Midwest and West battle to gain control.

- Every last detail counts, guys.

- The winner of this flash challenge is the West.

- [bleep], yeah.

- They're coming at the Midwest?

announcer: In the elimination tattoo,

the West fired at their rivals.

- I knew it was gonna happen. - Damn.

announcer: But their plan backfired.

- Kicking myself for picking something with all these gears.

- It's facing the wrong way.

The blade should be on this side.

- I don't know about that.

announcer: In the elimination,

Raul, Jordan, and Arlene were the bottom three artists.

- Jordan's tattoo-- I mean,

that front wheel is the most [bleep] up thing here.

I would rather have the knife.

- I do have to say something:

the handle's actually upside-down.

- My canvas decided to flip the direction of the knife.

- If you're gonna flip the blade,

you also gotta flip the handle.

- Arlene, you do not have what it takes to be Ink Master.

[intense music]

♪ ♪

announcer: 15 artists remain,

but only one will earn a $100,000 prize

and the title of Ink Master.

[rock music]

♪ ♪

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪

- Together, we took out one of their key players.

- And it was a visible maneuver.

- The West isn't gonna forget that for either of us.

So I feel like it's in our best interest collectively

to continue working together.

- You scratch our backs, we'll scratch yours.

- I mean, I trust you guys,

and I think we do work well together.

As a group, we can definitely focus on the West,

'cause they're gonna be gunning for us.

- I really hope that the West feels humbled.

- Yeah.

- The West, they're not gonna humble themselves.

So I think it's up to us eight to humble them.

♪ ♪

- Welcome. 15 artists remain.

Four in the West, five in the Midwest,

three in the South, and three in the East.

- Way to rub it in.

- Only one of you will earn $100,000,

a feature in "Inked" magazine, and the title of Ink Master.

- That's what we're here for.

- Today, there will be no flash challenge.

- Oh, no.

- We are going straight into the next elimination tattoo.

- [groans] - Oh, God.

- This week, you are being tested on consistency.

- Aw, man.

- Consistency in tattooing is making sure

that throughout your whole tattoo,

nothing is irregular.

Nobody wants a wonky tattoo.

Consistency is key.

- There is no better test of consistency

than collaborating with other artists

to create a series of tattoos.

- A series?

- Each artist on your team must create one tattoo,

and every member of your team

must tattoo the same canvas at the same time.

- Oh, my God. - [bleep], what?

- All of us? - All four at once?

- That is just insane.

We're gonna be in each other's face.

I'm working here, and I have somebody working next to me,

stretching, moving the skin, it's just a crazy environment.

- I mean, maybe that's a good thing

'cause we only have three.

- Better for us.

Three is a lot easier than doing five.

- Someone's getting five tattoos today.

- [groans] - How?

- Good luck, Midwest.

- Five tattoos at the same time?

Buckle up.

- Just as your four regions make up the United States,

Ancient Greeks believed that there are four elements

that make up all matter.

- Okay. - Earth, wind, water, and fire.

♪ ♪

You can tattoo any style,

but each of your tattoos must consistently incorporate

your team's element.

- On the bottom of each skull is an element.

The skull you draw will determine the element

your entire team must tattoo.

- Hopefully, we get water.

- You've been randomly assigned a picking order.

- West, you're up first. - No pressure, right?

- Hoo, I just hope we get a good element.

Fire or water.

- Fire. - Yeah.

- Fire, all right.

- East. - Pick a good one.

- Do it, Jimmy. - You're next.

♪ ♪

- Earth.

- South. - Which one?

♪ ♪

- Money Mike, you got one job, and it is not to pick wind.

Got a fifty-fifty chance.

- Bitch. Wind.

- Damn. - Whew.

- And finally, Midwest, you get the last skull.

- Water.

- The Midwest is landlocked.

We don't do a lot of water tattoos.

We don't see a lot of water in our daily lives.

I can't even swim.

- Five people on a team,

don't have to tattoo the same style,

but be sure that something about your design

or the way you tattoo it or your color palette

goes together.

- Your human canvases have been randomly assigned,

and you will have six hours to tattoo.

Fail to get in your element,

and not only will your entire team be at risk,

but you just might be packing your machines.

- [sighs] - Good luck.

- The word they have to remember is "consistency,"

'cause that's what we're testing.

- I think we should do four different fire holders.

Like a lantern, a torch-- - A candle.

- A candle. - That's pretty good.

- Yeah, I like that.

- If everybody does their own thing,

then that's not consistent.

- They would definitely be uniform

if they all had tornados in 'em.

- Or we can do three different phases of it.

Like comic strip type. - Yeah, like a comic strip.

Maybe, like, there's three boxes.

- Yeah, I'm cool with the comic strip idea.

I like it being boxed in like that.

- We are looking for consistency

throughout the team, not just in the element

but also in application.

- Okay, what if we did things that were seashell-themed?

Like, if we did a seashell, a starfish, coral.

- I feel like a seashell is, like,

something that we could all nail in our own styles

so nothing falls short. - Right.

- Because I feel like if we were to pick the same style,

like if we're all doing color,

like, I'm gonna fall short compared to you two.

- Yeah. - I'm cool with that.

- Yeah. - Right.

- If one person falls short,

they're gonna bring the whole team down.

- When I think of Earth,

I think of things going back to the Earth.

Like, dead things-- with flowers bloomin' out.

- Live things, juxtaposition? I'm into that.

- Believe it or not, I'm a pretty versatile artist,

and as far as adapting to my team, I can do that.

Playing to one style could be more consistent.

It looks like one team did it. - Yeah.

- What if we each did, like, a blackwork skeleton

With different elements growing out of it.

- Yeah, that'd make a cool tattoo.

- K is primarily a blackwork artist.

So if we can all work together with her strength,

we'll be able to pull this challenge off.

- You're putting color in yours, right?

- Nah. - So, I'm gonna have to do

black and gray is what you're saying?

- No, you should absolute--

- Yeah, you should do full color.

- There's no reason you shouldn't do color.

- But then three are doing black and gray,

and only one is doing color? That wouldn't make sense.

That would look weird.

- Do your thing, Bob. Blast that bitch with color.

- [laughing]

- Doesn't have to be the same style.

We all containing the element.

- It's not gonna look cohesive with the group

if there's one that stands out.

- I'm stubborn, and Hiram's stubborn,

so it's hard to get the idea we both agree on.

We can't turn in one color tattoo

and three black and gray tattoos.

That is not consistency. That's three and one.

That's not four.

- I mean, like--

But that's a definite disconsistency.

- Maybe I should do it without this box.

- You can take out the box.

- So now I'll just do it the size of the calf just so

that part fits in there. - Yeah.

So it'll blend out softly, yeah.

- I like that idea better.

- Do you think you should maybe tell Money Mike

to take the box out then?

- Well, I don't have a box on mine,

so I think one of 'em havin' a box would be fine.

- All right.

All of our containers are gonna be black and gray,

and the light-- the fire is gonna be colored.

I know you don't like it, but it's gonna be more cohesive.

And that's the name of the challenge.

- I don't think that looks better with that colored.

- But it will if all four of 'em have it.

[suspenseful music]

[rock music]

♪ ♪

- Artists, you have six hours to show consistency

by tattooing the elements.

And your time starts now.

- Yeah. - Okay.

- All right, go and hop up here.

- Get some stencils on.

- Today can be really tricky, because first off,

God bless the canvases,

either three, four, or five tattooers

will be tattooing them at the same time.

- You're gonna try your hardest to go to sleep.

- [laughs] Yeah. - Just let it happen.

- These tattoos have to be cohesive.

We're looking for these tattoos to almost look like

one person did them all.

That makes this extremely difficult

for anybody who's a weak link.

- You doing the box around yours?

- Nah, took it out.

So I don't know if you wanna take it out or leave it on.

- Mm... I designed mine for the box.

- So then keep the box then.

I don't think it makes a difference

'cause we all have the same elements.

- Man, what the [bleep]?

Jordan and Jason scrapped the whole square idea

and just enlarged the piece,

but for me to change designs now

may be a setback for me.

So I'm sticking to the original plan,

and hopefully that don't sink me.

Should I bring this angle in? - Let's see.

- No, 'cause if you get down, it's straight.

- All right, we cool. - Yeah.

- Let's do it. - Here we go.

[tattoo machine buzzing]

[intense percussive music]

♪ ♪

- How are they treating you so far?

What's difficult about it?

- Positioning. Light.

I'm, like, 90 degrees to how I would like to be tattooing.

- Oh, shit, sorry.

Let me know if I need to get out of your way at all.

- This is going very poorly.

The inked side of the starfish has a lot of circles.

It's very difficult to cleanly tattoo.

I'm not gonna be able to do these small lines

with someone right next to me.

I'm gonna finish the designs up here and then cycle out.

- We're not little people,

and we're inside of this 4-foot area,

but Kelly's the only one that's in between two people.

I mean, what if Jerrel flexes?

- Hey, wait, hey-- hold on.

Let me just finish these two lines then I'll jump up, okay?

I hate collaboration tattoos. I can't get my own space.

- Like, Kelly, just pull it together.

♪ ♪

- Good boy, Bob.

- No blowouts? - No.

- Holding up my name, you know?

- Today, all eyes are on me.

They saw a weakness in me last week.

- This is the best drawing of the day, man,

but I lost count of the blowouts on this thing.

Like, 40-something.

- I cannot have any blowouts.

I have to show that last week was a fluke.

That shit doesn't happen.

- Three hours to go, teams. Three hours to go.

♪ ♪

[tattoo machine buzzing]

I only ask, 'cause I heard you, like,

run your machine way down.

- Yeah, I've never done this before, so--

- The way I do it is the slowest that I can run it

without it getting snagged in the skin.

You should be able to get, like, a line of dots, dude.

- Me, K, and Jimmy, as we get closer,

we're only getting stronger.

It's only up from here.

- Like that? - Yeah.

- This is so much fun. Why haven't I been doing this?

- [laughs]

We're consistently consistent, queen.

♪ ♪

- Y'all seen everybody else's?

- Everybody else did the same thing

and threw the element in it.

Ours is the only one that actually connects.

- We're doing three different versions of the tornado.

Money Mike's is gonna be from a distance.

My tattoo is going to be right before the impact.

Jason's gonna be the impact tearing up the house.

Of all the groups,

ours has the most consistency with the story.

- They don't like this piece, I don't know what to tell 'em.

- In Louisiana, man, we get hurricanes;

we don't get tornados-- never seen one,

never tattooed one.

So it's all around a new experience for me.

Mine is simple, yet effective. - Yeah.

- We just trying to get to it, make sure we get this safety.

Make sure nobody in team South gets eliminated.

♪ ♪

- Yours have a similar feel, only, like, you know,

his is in color. - Yeah.

And then it's, like, same with them, but it's, like, you know.

- Yeah.

All of the other teams' approach to this

looks way more consistent than ours.

Their tattoos actually look like they're in a series.

Ours, not so much.

It looks like we have five different tattoos,

by five different people, with five different ideas.

- Kind of fun tattooing this close

'cause I get to see how you guys tattoo.

- I know, right?

♪ ♪

- Five, four, three, two, one.

That is it, machines down.

Time is up. No more ink.

- Think it's solid? - It's [bleep] solid, dude.

- Bah!

- Ah!

- It looks killer.

- Fishin' for a win today!

- You guys feelin' good? - Yeah.

We kept everything the same size.

- You think those 25 circles Kelly did are circles?

- Yeah.

- I don't know.

I definitely think the team of five is about to become...

both: The team of four.

- It's not the most creative move.

- These tattoos are a bummer for me.

- Damn.

- In this competition, you never know what's coming.

Now you gotta pay the piper.

[rock music]

♪ ♪

- Out of all the groups, you guys just sucked, really.

- We had five [bleep] people on our team.

- Yeah. - Five.

- Yes, and between five people, you couldn't put

one good tattoo out.

- No, no, our team is still intact,

and you guys are barely holdin' on.

- By default, man. Come on, man.

- And what happened to you, Frank?

- I did all right, man.

- Was that the best tattoo that you could've put out?

- That was the best tattoo I could put out

with my entire team in mind-- that's what you guys didn't do.

- We did three dope-ass tattoos.

- No.

- You guys live up to your name:

Mediocre Midwest.

- You guys have always been livin' up to your name:

Suck-Ass South.

♪ ♪

- Today, you had to prove your consistency

by creating multiple tattoos on the same canvas as a team.

- [sighs]

- Let's see how you did. East.

You tattooed the Earth. You're up.

K.

- The way this thing is very simply shaded is cool.

Very clean, very solid outline.

The vine with the color in it, weaving in and out,

pretty dynamic.

I really like the tattoo.

- It's pretty good overall.

- Jessa.

- It has what it takes to make the eye move around

and see a harmony and a balance.

Your color in this is really rich.

You do have a nice solid distribution of color

and black and gray in the tattoo,

so I think it reads prettier.

- Still pretty good overall.

- Jimmy.

- I really like the open skin--

the little highlight that you leave in the cheek

and then you have those areas of stippling around it.

I like the black whip

that you bring off the back of the skull,

and it gives it weight.

- The outline is solid,

and the stipple shading is super smooth.

- It's pretty badass. - Thank you.

- Good job.

- So, how'd they do overall?

- I like the concept of the decaying of life

and then new life springing up.

I see the similar color palette,

which also plays harmonious together.

- As far as three tattoos that go together

and show consistency, I feel like it's a smart move.

- South, you tattooed wind. You're up next.

Money Mike.

- What's going on, fellas?

- Just a straight square picture--

it's not the most creative move.

- You gave yourself a challenge

just by giving that square.

'Cause a perfect square, you do not have.

You have a lot of application problems.

You can see the brushstrokes coming through.

- If you're doing a lot of this...

It's never gonna be as black

as when it comes out of the bottle.

- Jordi.

- I love the way

the building looks like it's about to be pulled away,

but if you just look at the twister,

it's a tube with a few lines.

It could be a ventricle, it could be anything.

Every part of the tattoo

has to be understood as to what it is.

- Tough crowd.

- Jason.

- Very graphically designed style that you have

with the house broken in half,

but you definitely see what's going on,

and see the pieces of the house getting lifted away.

Definitely looks really smooth,

definitely a very legible depiction of the wind here.

- Thanks.

- Overall, as a team, as far as consistency, how do you see it?

- The application from one to the next isn't consistent.

The only thing consistent in this team

is that they did three tornado tattoos.

- Everybody did their own thing, kind of,

instead of stepping together as a unit.

They got three different windows.

So it doesn't tell it strong enough.

- Midwest, you tattooed water. You're up next.

Jake.

- Cute little crab drawing, bold outline,

but the water on this thing is a bummer.

You know, water can't just wiggle

in whatever way it wants to,

and it has a flow to it.

- Water is really fluid,

so it can do pretty much whatever it wants to.

- The thing is, it doesn't have a will,

so it doesn't do what it wants, it does what it's forced to do.

♪ ♪

- Frank.

- I like the shell.

The water, I don't know if it makes a lot of sense.

I don't know what's going on.

- The water itself is so HD and so over-the-top

that it doesn't match the shell.

These are two separate thoughts,

so now the shell looks not finished.

- Jordan. - I like your helmet.

You hit some nice details in the cage in the front,

but the water on the bottom,

it almost looks like a bottom jaw of a skull

with rotted-out teeth.

It looks like a million different things to me.

It's not just "boom, it's water."

- Jerrel.

- It's camouflage, man, it is hard to read.

The pearl's supposed to be white and shiny,

and it's as dark as the shell.

It's just too much craziness going on in a small thing.

- The flow of this water looks like a splash,

but the problem is, water's clear.

Water's not black.

It should be light, light, light-shaded.

- Kelly.

- Kind of crazy on the design.

It's mist, it's smoke,

because it's blue doesn't make it water.

- You see a lot of inconsistencies

in those circle outlines,

so the overall piece turns inconsistent.

- How'd they do overall as a team?

- Two went different directions,

three went in the same direction.

- Yeah, it's almost like, "Everybody do your own thing,

but make sure it's got terrible water."

- Most of these tattoos are a bummer for me.

That's consistent.

- We made a choice. I stuck to it.

- West, you had fire. You're up.

- Angel.

- Hey, guys.

- How straight, square, and how crisp

that line work is is very, very nice.

- I like the burst you have around the flame,

and the color in the flame is solid.

On a day like today, it is shining bright.

- Thank you.

- Great job, girl. - Thank you. [chuckles]

- Bob.

- It's definitely a cool take, it's something

we haven't seen in the competition before,

and the contrast between your black and gray element

and your color element stands strong.

- Thank you.

- You killed it, man. - Thanks.

- Hiram.

- The illustration of the torch and the ornate details

are cool, but the black is not the same color as the outline.

It's not saturated. The red: not saturated.

It's great from a distance, not so good up close.

- Raul.

- I like the dark shading that you put into the candle holder,

but the saturation in the flames

and the blends are a little bit off.

- Your red: not vibrant.

No two points on these flames is the same anywhere.

- How did the West do in terms of consistency?

- These pieces do all seem to go together,

but as far as, like, application,

the consistency is all over the place here.

- Time to determine which team

showed the most consistency of the day.

- I do see the craftiness in the East.

From the drawing board, to the execution,

to the follow-through,

those three tattoos are pretty consistent.

♪ ♪

My vote is for the East. - Yes.

- My vote is for the East.

- Yes. - Yes.

- That means the East is safe from elimination.

- Good job, guys.

- We finally got a win. - Yeah.

- Please, have a seat. - Sweet.

♪ ♪

- Is there a second team that showed consistency?

- Speaking to quality and theme,

the West does some really slick tattoos.

- On paper, they had a consistent theme.

For me, it's the second closest team in consistency.

- My vote is for the West. - Voting for the West.

- Congratulations.

That means the West is also safe from elimination.

- Good job, guys. Good job.

- Please have a seat. - Thank you.

♪ ♪

- Midwest and South,

based on your work,

one of you will be packing your machines.

[sighs and groans] - Oh, man, right now?

- God damn it. - It's bullshit.

- [mouths words]

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪

- Midwest and South,

based on your work,

one of you will be packing your machines.

[sighs and groans] - Oh, man, right now?

- It's bullshit. - [bleep].

- I feel like they should get another chance.

They should battle it out.

- That's not the way it works. Somebody's going home.

- Every single tattoo you do in here,

you never know when this day's coming.

- [sighs] - All right, guys.

Who had the worst tattoo of the day?

- Jake's is the one

that sticks out like a sore thumb just based on drawing.

- Let me just take another stab

where I can focus on my tattoos.

Put me back in the shop.

- Well, it misses the look of water artistically,

but then technically, if we look at Money Mike's tattoo,

look at the line work anywhere on Mike's.

Look at the solid black anywhere on Mike's.

- It's not smooth, they're not even, they're not solid.

- With another shot, I can show you what I'm made of.

- If you look at that, you're like, "that's wind."

Can you look at the other one and say "that's water"?

- The other one is not water.

It's just not what it needs to be,

and that's the problem.

You took a chance,

and, this competition, you never know what's coming,

and here it is: now you gotta pay the piper.

Today, for the drawing, I am going with Jake.

♪ ♪

- [sighs] - My vote's for Mike.

- Jake strayed really far from the whole day really,

but I see the technical problems in Mike's.

Yes, he's got a tornado in it,

but it's boxed in,

this weird shape, and it's, like,

of all these elements, that's the one that has air.

[suspenseful music]

♪ ♪

My vote's for Money Mike. The judges have decided.

Money Mike,

you do not have what it takes to be Ink Master.

- [sighs]

- Today was the day to work with your team

and get that team's safety,

and it slipped through your fingers,

but, you know, you got a long way to go in this business.

Wish you all the best, man.

- Please pack your machines and close shop.

♪ ♪

- Money Mike signing out, baby.

- I'ma miss you man. - Aw, man.

I ain't trip.

- [bleep]. We're down to two.

♪ ♪

- In this competition, you gotta be 100%

every time you pick up those machines.

You know, it just took me a little longer to settle in,

and it bit me in my ass.

♪ ♪

- [bleep]. - That was rough.

- What the [bleep] happens now?

- We're not done yet. Another artist is going home.

- Oh, [bleep]. Jesus Christ.

♪ ♪

- In a battle this fierce,

one weak link puts your entire team at risk.

- Ooh, shit.

Midwest and South,

your teams failed to secure safety,

but each of you will have one last chance to save yourself

from elimination by facing off against each other.

- Thought so. - Oh, shit.

- West and East,

because your teams proved your consistency

and are safe from elimination,

you will choose the style and subject they must tattoo.

♪ ♪

- Let's give 'em a fair fight. - Yes.

- I can only imagine what they're coming up with.

- Gonna find out how they feel about us.

- I like it. Yeah.

- We all agree? - Yeah, we all agree.

- Yeah. - Okay.

- All right, Jimmy,

what subject and style must these artists tattoo?

- Illustrative insects.

- You can do it your style,

you can do it color, you can do it black and gray,

you can go simple, you can go wild.

- Okay. - Insects are awesome.

There's so many different things you can do.

You wanted a chance to go and do something on your own?

This is it. Come out swinging.

- All right. - The face-off is set.

Your canvases are completely open,

and tomorrow,

you will have six hours to tattoo.

And based on your work,

one of you will also be packing your machines.

- Oh, man.

- Head back to the loft and get ready for the face-off.

- Good luck. - Thank you.

[dramatic music]

♪ ♪

- The game got really serious tonight.

- No one saw that coming.

- Things are starting to move a lot faster.

- It really sucks that we're down to two.

- I mean, that sucks.

I didn't--I didn't know Mike was going home, so...

♪ ♪

I just didn't think it was Mike.

- It was almost me, and, like, now I'm really, like, shaken up

that, you know, I gotta [bleep] perform

like I've never performed, because I wanna be here.

That's some scary shit to be down there, and like,

'cause you know you have more,

but when somebody's saying you had your chance,

and then you're like, "Well, I [bleep]"--

'cause, like, I had a chance, and I wanted to do it.

I wanna be the best, I wanna show that I can do it,

I wanna have everybody be wowed by the [bleep] art I make.

- I'd definitely say tomorrow

we all tattoo the best tattoos we [bleep] can.

- Yeah.

[tense music]

♪ ♪

- I did not sleep at all last night.

- That's kind of how it goes, man.

You get a night to draw,

and you're like, "Oh, I got drawing time."

And then you're like, "Oh, I don't have sleep time."

- Yeah. - That's greed.

- Yup, you gotta pick one or the other.

- I don't wanna go home. - And we won't.

♪ ♪

- Artists, this is your last chance

to save yourself from elimination.

You have six hours to tattoo an illustrative insect.

And your time starts now.

♪ ♪

- First things first, I'm gonna get your leg marked.

- Let me get this stencil on.

- These artists' lives in this competition are on the line.

They have to do something dynamic

with these insect tattoos.

They can't just do something simple, and small, and boring.

- That's a cool [bleep] drawing.

- Thank you.

- They have to push the limits of what they can draw

to stay in this competition.

- Yeah, it's like dead center. Perfect.

- There's a lot of pressure on the South.

The last thing they wanna do is lose another player

the same week.

- All right, well, we're gonna start, man.

- You do it.

♪ ♪

- For me, when I think of a praying mantis,

I think of a nun.

And any time I see a nun, I think of bondage.

[laughs] It's just how it works.

- I was wondering where the nun thing came from.

- "Praying" mantis. - "Praying" mantis.

- Yeah, I mean, think about nuns, think about the kink.

- Yeah. Hmm.

- I've hit that point now, where I'm like,

you know what, I'm gonna do me.

I'm gonna have fun with what I do.

So if I were to go out,

at least it's something that was fun.

- The kinky tattoo artist. - That's right.

My canvas is excited about her new bondage tattoo.

So I'll have a fun time explaining to her boyfriend.

For sure.

- The judges are gonna have a hard time.

- I really like Kelly's, the only thing--

I don't feel like it needs

those extra mushrooms at the top.

- He's really swinging for the fences.

- Yeah, he is.

- This is my first time in the bottom

in the competition so far. - Oh, yeah.

- I don't wanna seem overly confident,

but I feel good about doing insects.

I wanna take all the chances, I wanna take all the risks.

I have an arsenal of wizardry ready to impress.

- Kelly, man, that shit rules.

- Tattoo up some magic shit, man.

- There's a little bit of magic in the air,

telling me I'll be here for a while.

- Four hours left, guys. Four hours left.

♪ ♪

- You gonna align the whole thing,

or are you gonna do more of like, uh--

- Nah, I'ma align the whole thing,

but I'm gonna do some variance in line weights.

It's a lot of pressure, because if I go home,

there's no more South, there's just Jason.

Keep the small parts so I don't lose any detail in 'em.

Going to college, I joined a fraternity,

and teamwork is crucial to me.

I wouldn't want to leave my brother stranded by himself.

And I don't wanna go home. I'm not ready to go home yet.

♪ ♪

- You gonna color it like this one?

- Uh-huh, yeah, but I'm punching it in there, though.

- Yeah.

- Money Mike, he's barely left the building.

Nobody knew that this double elimination was coming.

We can't risk losing anymore players in this competition.

- You know they don't like white like that.

- Mm-hmm. I know.

- [laughing] - He's aware.

- They don't like that color palette either.

- They don't. I... [bleep].

I mean, here's the thing: If my line work is clean

and my color's in there solid,

who gives a [bleep] if they like it or not.

- I don't-- - I don't give a shit.

- You're playing a whole different game.

- South is the smallest team,

but we are not giving up.

- You're just a giant walking middle finger.

- Oh, yeah.

- I definitely have a lot to prove today.

Starting my career in the tattoo industry,

being so young,

there's a lot of people that didn't take me seriously.

So I always had to constantly prove myself.

It's the same thing here.

Yeah, I'm not [bleep] around today.

Proving people wrong is fun.

The last couple critiques I've gotten have not been good.

I have a fire lit under me. I gotta nail this tattoo.

There he goes again.

Oh, my gosh, he's moving everywhere.

♪ ♪

- Sorry. - All good.

♪ ♪

- Yeah, go for it. - Sure?

All right.

- My canvas has not stopped moving

since I started tattooing.

- When you're home, you have all the time you need

to make sure they're comfortable,

but when there is a clock and all this pressure on you,

and you have a chance of going home?

Everything that that canvas does

just adds to the pressure.

- Frank might not finish, and yeah.

He's already taken, like, three breaks.

Is he taking another one? - No way.

- [whistles]

I have to finish this tattoo.

Not gonna freak out yet.

- This is your final hour. One hour remains.

- I don't like Jake's.

The crown is a gray mute cool.

You have to have dimension,

and second, it has to be [bleep] vibrant.

- How long you been tattooing?

- This upcoming August, it'll be 14 years.

- Wow.

- There have been times where

I've gone grocery shopping at, like, the dollar store

because I wasn't making hardly any money.

Anything that's worth doing is really hard.

And it's really important

to me that I portray that to my son,

because he's just starting out, his whole life ahead of him.

You want something bad enough, you just work hard,

you persevere, things get really shitty

but you come out the other side much happier.

This is our hell.

It's, like, we have to appease three people,

and it drives us insane.

I barely made it through the first elimination.

So the stakes are much higher now.

I need to put everything that I have, every trick that I know,

into this tattoo.

[rock music]

♪ ♪

- Five, four, three, two, one.

That's it. Machines down.

Time is up and no more ink.

- We're done now, man.

- Yeah, it's awesome, man. It's on point.

- You know, it's like, I'm glad you got through it.

That was the most important part.

- That looks sick.

- Everything the judges don't like about tattoos:

I put it in there.

- Except perfect application. - Exactly.

- I was worried about Jake,

like, Jordi somehow passed him.

- Yeah.

- Race for the bottom. It is beat up.

- He sculpted almost all of the lines.

Line next to line next to line,

probably on top of line, on top of line.

- Yeah, I mean, hit it more than once,

and then as soon as he wipes, poof.

- Trenches. Never know what's gonna happen.

- You never know what's gonna happen.

- Never [bleep] know.

- Jason's all by himself on flash challenges?

- It's kind of funny, like, I can't help it.

- At least he won't be running around talking shit.

- He won't have any time. - He won't have time.

- I will say that you do good line work,

but one little thing can be the stone you trip over.

- I hate it.

- You don't want to push me in that corner.

- All right, it's a fight.

[exciting music]

♪ ♪

- Today, the Midwest and the South had to face off

against each other,

and you were being tested on consistency.

Based on your work, one of you will be packing your machines.

Let's see how you did. Midwest, let's start with you.

Kelly.

I'm really blown away by the creativity here.

It's a great illustration.

I love that you can have a insect in the background

coming down a ledge into the foreground

and pull that off with such great precision and detail.

- And what I really like

is that you have variance within the body.

That gives us this flow and this movement.

I like the highlight and the break that you put in that.

It really gives it a nice turn and a nice light.

This is a fun one to look at. - Thanks guys.

- [bleep]. You did great, man.

- Next up is Jordan.

- Where have you been all competition?

- [laughs]

- I mean, this is a much better tattoo than I've seen so far.

As far as your shading goes, I like the fact

that the cicada is darker than the flowers.

You have a nice balance.

You go from dark to light to dark.

- You always say that you do good line work,

and we've been waiting to see it.

This line work does look very consistent.

Super smooth everywhere. - Thank you.

- Good job. - Yeah, thank you.

- Jerrel.

- Well, I love the creativity of this design

and the simplicity of it.

Looks like an insect right off the bat,

then the subtle little inferences you added to it,

with the little ropes and the ball gag and the habit,

gives a very cool little touch.

One of the tricks of the trade

is being able to use this much black in such a small area

and still see what everything is,

and you do that really well here.

- Thanks, guys.

- Hell, yeah. - [bleep]. [bleep].

- Frank.

- Man, what a dynamic image.

It definitely has a very illustrative,

graphic design look to it.

all the little detail lines are very consistent.

Your color saturation,

there's a little bit of variance

just in a couple areas

where you under-shaded with gray

and then put the blue over top,

but it created a lot of cool textures.

Definitely one of the coolest,

most wicked insects that we've seen today.

- Cool.

[sighs]

♪ ♪

- Jake.

- It's got a cool motion to it. It's got a cool anatomy.

I love what you did with the wings.

That really bright blue highlight to skin.

But the sore thumb in this tattoo is the crown.

Your outline gets a little wavery on the crown,

your black shading gets a little rough,

it looks out of place with the rest of the tattoo.

- I understand what you're saying,

but I didn't necessarily want it to be a focal point.

- I like your drawing.

I like it a lot better than yesterday's drawing, for sure.

- Yeah.

- All right, it's a fight.

- South, you're up. Jason.

- Today, consistency, you really show up with your color.

The whole tattoo is very consistent

because your black is very graphic, very strong,

Your delivery is all consistent.

I like the style, I like the imagery,

I like the little pop of white that you put in there.

If you can get it in to look like house paint,

good for you.

When you put black in properly,

and you weigh in a strong outline,

and you make it wall to wall,

it just looks so good on skin.

- Jordi.

- I like this image, I like the drawing, the color palette.

It's very rich and bright,

but I wish that there was open skin in this tattoo.

- It's very rare that you'll hear me say,

"It's too solid, it's too much,"

but it's really, really packed.

It could definitely use a couple breaks

where you just let this thing breathe a little bit.

It would really go a long way for me.

- Today, everybody was able to do something creative,

everybody was able to do something strong,

and it looked like everybody really brought something

from the drawing board to their tattoo today,

which is super cool.

A lot of great tattooing.

- Today is gonna be a tough one,

because somebody's gotta go home

on something that could typically keep you in the game.

- Whoever goes home, as long as it's on Midwest.

We're feelin' awful small over here.

- They can get one smaller.

- Ah, you don't want to push me in that corner.

- If we're judging on consistency, Frank's tattoo.

The wings on it, some of them are whip shaded out,

and some of them are mag dragged.

Some of those parts up there

aren't as consistent as they could be.

- I have to agree with everything that Bob says.

That's probably bottom tattoo.

- I definitely would've done more.

My guy wouldn't stop moving.

And he was gonna give up on me, so I finished my tattoo.

And I [bleep] like it. - I hate it.

- I agree with Frank having some shortcomings

in application, but I don't think I can lean towards Frank

being the worst one of the day.

Design-wise, Jordi is one of my least favorite of the seven.

I would've loved to see this tattoo

a little bit more dynamic.

I wish that this thing

had a little bit more breathability to it.

- If everybody feels mine's the worst one,

I wouldn't have a problem with that today.

- [bleep] that, no, send somebody on the Midwest home.

Send Jake home. [bleep] that shit.

- You guys asked me to step up to the plate,

and I designed something really cool.

Let's call it like it is.

Jordi still has inconsistencies

of getting that color where it needed to be.

- It's tricky.

Jordi overly produced,

but what is wall to wall is solid.

Juxtapose that to Jake's,

and you see a lot of wavering moments.

If you match those reds to Jordi's reds, Jordi gets 'em.

- For me, Jordi's tattoo is plain.

But technically, across the board,

the biggest shortcoming of the day

is the crown in Jake's tattoo.

That being said, I'm going back and forth with this.

♪ ♪

- I need a final decision.

- I'm voting for Jake.

- Jake to go home.

- The judges have decided.

Jake, you do not have what it takes to be Ink Master.

- I love your art, I love your designs,

but when the competition gets tight,

one little thing can be the stone you trip over,

and this crown, this took you out, man.

- You're not going out on a bad tattoo.

- Please pack your machines and close shop.

- See you.

♪ ♪

- See you later.

- That was close. - Too close.

And you were gonna give up. [bleep].

- [bleep], man, you killed it.

- Thanks, dude.

The tattoo I did today was awesome.

I'm just upset I didn't get to show more of that work.

You know, it is how the game is played,

and lots of good tattoos go home.

My son's gonna definitely be proud of me,

because I'm proud of me.

announcer: On the next episode of "Ink Master"...

- You just keep losing teammates, one after another.

- Who just went home? - Our first one.

Jason's just overcompensating for a small team.

- Smaller teams, the stakes are high for you.

Bigger teams eat the smaller teams.

- We are out for blood, and the gloves are coming off.

You deserve to be here, and I don't wanna see you go home.

- I don't wanna see you go home either.

- This thing is a mess.

It's just muck.

- You gotta know that you're putting yourself in jeopardy.

The Description of Out of Your Element