Vegas tattoo shops still standing on ‘Ink Master’

In a unique twist to the “Ink Master” tattoo reality TV series on the Spike cable channel last night (Aug. 15), producers brought back two-time Season 5 and 7 veterans Cleen Rock One and Aaron Is of the Golden Skull Tattoo in Las Vegas to ramp up the competition.

By the end of the program’s 10th week, they and Christian Buckingham and Noelin Wheeler of the rival Vegas Basilica Tattoo salon still remained standing — now competing against eight other remaining teams.

They are all vying for a $200,000 cash grand prize, an editorial feature in Inked magazine and for the first time in the program’s eight-year history, the title of “Master Shop.” Last night (Aug. 15), the artists faced a flash challenge that required them to use a drill. Team members were then tested on their precision while working together to create matching portrait tattoos on different canvases. In the end, the judges felt that Classic Trilogy Tattoo of upstate Syracuse, New York, did not have what it takes to be the next “Ink Master Master Shop” and they were Ko’d from continuing

On Tuesday’s (Aug. 23) next episode of “Ink Master,” the Flash Challenge segment has been eliminated and the remaining artists and our two rival Vegas salons think they’ve got it all figured out until a massive twist sends them reeling. One pair of artists will see their days on the show come to an abrupt ending in a Four Horsemen tattoo challenge.

This season, shops from all around the country are sending two of their strongest artists to compete being put through a series of tattoo challenges that are not only designed to test their technical skills but also their on-the-spot creativity. They have to create and execute an original tattoo on a “human canvas.” Each episode focuses on a different and distinct style of tattooing, and while the masterpieces these artists create will last a lifetime …so will their mistakes.

After every challenge, the contestants face a tough panel made up of musician, filmmaker and artist Dave Navarro, plus world-renowned tattoo artists Nuñez (Handcrafted Miami) and Peck (Elm Street Tattoo).

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