Ink Master (season 3)

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Ink Master (season 3)
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes13
Original channelSpike
Original runJuly 16, 2013 (2013-07-16) – October 8, 2013 (2013-10-08)
Additional information
Ink Master (Winner)Joey Hamilton
Number of artists16
Number of challenges32
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 2
Next →
Season 4
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Ink Master (season 3)
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes13
Original channelSpike
Original runJuly 16, 2013 (2013-07-16) – October 8, 2013 (2013-10-08)
Additional information
Ink Master (Winner)Joey Hamilton
Number of artists16
Number of challenges32
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 2
Next →
Season 4

Ink Master (season 3) is the third season of the Spike tattooing competition series, Ink Master. Its makeup and rules mimic those of season two, with some changes to make it unique from the previous season, but not so extreme to make it stand out from the series.

Season three follows sixteen tattoo artists competing against each other in an elimination-style competition that will leave the last person standing with the title of Ink Master, a $100,000 grand prize, and a feature in Inked Magazine. The show is hosted and judged by Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro. Other judges include former Miami Ink cast member Chris Núñez and accomplished tattoo artist Oliver Peck.

Season three is the first time in the series a contestant has been brought back for another season. Katherine "Tatu Baby" Flores was eliminated in season two, but voted to return by Ink Master's Facebook voting.[1]

Judges, guest judges, and special appearances[edit]


Guest judges[edit]

Special appearances[edit]

Judging and ranking[edit]

The way Ink Master ranking works is similar in each season. The artist with the best tattoo, as deemed by the judges, wins the challenge. The one that is the worst, is sent home. The number of wins combined does not affect ranking, but a win affects the ranking for that episode only. A contestant can be on the verge of elimination the entire season, and still theoretically win the title of Ink Master, so long as they produce at minimum, a better tattoo than another artist up to the final challenge.

Minor changes in the judging and associated rules have occurred throughout the seasons in order to keep audience interest. The changes are usually made to enhance the anticipation and keep the viewer attention longer with added suspense and contestant risk of elimination.

The judge listing types are:

The judging panel is the table of three primary judges, and any guest judges for that episode if one is chosen.
A guest judge is selected for appearance and participation in some episodes. He/She collaborates with the Judging Panel to finalize the voting decision. In past seasons, the guest judge normally specialized in an area the contestants were to be tested. Sometimes the guest judge was a well versed consumer of the skill presented that episode. In any case, the weight appeared to be equal regardless of guest judge qualification.
Audience voting is done through Facebook, introduced in season 2. The audience vote directly affected the contestant lineup for season 3. Based on highest vote count, the audience decided on the return of Tatu Baby.
It was hinted in the early episodes of season 3 this will return for the live finale although the details were not furnished. Audience voting has expanded to include Twitter in season 3. No word if it will carry the same weight as the Facebook voting.[1]
After the tattoos are completed, the canvases for the challenge gather and vote on the best and worst of that day's taTtoos. While the primary judges have the final say, the weight of the canvas vote does affect the judging panels final decision. This was a new venue for the Ink Master series.

Win or lose[edit]

Winning and Losing[edit]

The show has a basic format that is present in all episodes. Contestants compete on a scale to test each ones skill over the various aspects of the art of tattooing. In competition there are winners and losers. For Ink Master, this presents a challenge, as you can only have one winner in the end, and it can be very difficult to determine a winner when you have multiple people each doing a different tattoo. To determine the winner, the judges must decide who has the best tattoo, but the tattoo must follow the guidelines for the skill being tested. For example, a contestant will lose if they create a wonderful cartoon flower tattoo with smooth shading and solid line work if the skill being tested was creating a human pinup or portrait.

To win, a contestant must out-do each of the other artist in the challenge while adhering to the skill chosen for the challenge. The best one will win. The worst will be eliminated, in the words of Dave Navarro, "You do not have what it takes to be Ink Master. Please pack up your machines, and close shop."

Contestants and progress[edit]

Sixteen tattoo artists were selected to compete in season 3. Names, residences, and years of experience are in the table below.[2]

Flash Challenge Progress[edit]

Episode Number12f13f24f35678f491011Most wins
Flash Challenge
JoshuaCraigTatu BabyKyleJasonJoshua
3 wins
^Note f1 : This flash challenge was performed in groups of 3.
^Note f2 : This flash challenge eliminated the artist with the worst tattoo.
^Note f3 : This flash challenge required assembly of a new tattoo machine. Some artist did not complete this task.
^Note f4 : This flash challenge was in teams of 2. The winners won a special trip to tour the Jägermeister brewery in Germany.

Elimination challenge progress[edit]

Artist NameYears
Jason Clay Dunn20Montclair, CaliforniaINININLOWININININLOWOUT
Jackie "Ink Bitch" Jennings11Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaINININININLOWININOUT
Craig Foster18Carrollton, GeorgiaINWINWININLOWININOUT
E.S.16Bridgeport, ConnecticutININININININOUT
Richard "Made Rich" Parker5.5Queens, New YorkININININLOWOUT
Chris May16Dekalb, IllinoisINLOWININOUT
Ally Lee9Santa Cruz, CaliforniaINININOUT
James "Danger" Harvey8Sacramento, CaliforniaININOUT
Madison "Maddie la Belle" Loftis5Greensboro, North CarolinaLOWLOWOUT
"Mystical" Mike Paterek8Bronx, New YorkLOWOUT
Frank McManus6New Cumberland, PennsylvaniaOUT

Credit Order: Ally, Chris, Craig, E.S., Frank, Jackie, Jason, Jime, Joey, James Danger, Joshua, Kyle, Maddie, Rich, Mike, Tatu Baby

  INKMASTER  The contestant won the competition and was named Ink Master.
  RUNNER UP  The contestant was the runner-up on Ink Master.
  WIN  The contestant won best tattoo of the week.
  HIGH  The contestant was given a honorable mention in the judges recall.
  LOW  The contestant was among the bottom group in the judges recall.
  LOW  The contestant rank voted by the human canvas jury.
  OUT  The contestant was eliminated from the competition.
  OUT  The contestant quit the competition.
  OUT  The contestant was eliminated in the flash challenge.


Episodes begin with a Flash Challenge, a task that usually does not deal with tattooing itself, but has contestants utilize skills related to tattooing in an unusual way. Most of the time the skills highlighted in the Flash Challenge will be needed to complete the Elimination Tattoo. The winner of the Flash Challenge gets to pick which human canvas they would like to tattoo during the elimination tattoo and, as a new twist from the first season, assign each contestant their canvas. The contestants are then given a chance to meet with their canvas before tattooing them the next day when they will be given a set amount of time to do the tattoo. A judging panel then commences where the best tattoos of the week are recognized, the weak tattoos are pointed out and one contestant is eliminated from the competition.[3]

Episode 1: Baby Got Back[edit]

Episode 1

First aired July 16, 2013

Although Mike had a bad tattoo, as well as bringing only one machine for the competition, and Madison's tattoo having lack of details, Frank's tattoo was badly executed with rough edges from the color and bad outline.
The worst artist, as voted by the human canvas jury, was Maddie.

Episode 2: Thrills for Grills[edit]

Episode 2

First aired July 23, 2013

Contestants Chris and Madison were on the low end; both shared equal shortcomings. The anatomy realism from Mike's tattoo was not present and textures failed to produce.
The worst artist, as voted by the human canvas jury, was Mystical Mike.

Episode 3: Tattoos and Lace (aka Fire and Lace)[edit]

Episode 3

First aired July 30, 2013

With Maddie's elimination in the flash challenge being a new step for Ink Master, more new ground was laid when James Danger's canvas did not see eye-to-eye with her artist. She walked out, resulting in no canvas for Danger to showcase his ability upon. The judges interviewed both the canvas and the artist to see what the problem was. It was determined Danger could not handle the nagging personality of his selected canvas. The judges agreed that being Ink Master, one would need to know how to instill confidence in the client that the artist can work with what is requested. They also looked back on his past texture tattoo of a leg garter that was poorly detailed and rough in different areas to reinforce their decision to eliminate him.
There was no official human canvas vote for this challenge.

^Note 1A : The winner was not officially confirmed during the show but on the Ink Master website.

Episode 4: Elysium Challenge[edit]

Episode 4

First aired August 6, 2013

Ally and Tatu Baby failed to assemble their machines.
Despite not having the worst tattoo, it boiled down to one has to go. Ally, Jackie, Chris, and Jason were all on the bottom. The artists failed to be consistent and symmetrical with their Celtic tattoos. The field was well spread with multiple artists receiving praise. After deliberating, the canvas panel voted to release Ally. Their two choices to leave were Ally and Jackie. The primary judges also included Jason and Chris in their elimination critique.
The worst artist, as voted by the human canvas jury, was Ally.

Episode 5: Baby Beats Down[edit]

Episode 5

First aired August 13, 2013

The judges were not very impressed this challenge. They expected most of the artists who failed to produce to have led the class. The results were the polar opposite of expectations. Chris, Craig, Jason, and Rich were overly dark, with Craig drawing additional criticism for using black mixed with white ink for the gray shading, a no-no in the industry for black and gray tattoos. Tatu Baby executed a good design but failed on the detail, despite having a satisfactory design and skill set applied. Joshua, Joey, and ES came up short on their usage of black. Too light and line work could have been improved with more detail. Jackie and Jime were the only ones who elicited praise from the judges. The judges ultimately decided Chris had the worst tattoo.
The worst artist, as voted by the human canvas jury, was Craig.

Episode 6: Animal Instinct[edit]

Episode 6

First aired August 20, 2013

This episode, the flash challenge drew a lot of positive comments, but the elimination challenge was on the other side of the coin. The judges had a large field in front of them. They were not satisfied with any of the artists. None of them displayed the talent nor the ability to complete this traditional Japanese tattoo challenge. Jackie failed to detail in a legible fashion. The lines just waved and hid the tattoo. Made Rich went simplistic and lacked any detail. Joey had a lot of detail, and decent artwork, but not what the judges were looking for. If there was a top, it was Joey. Jime had an unorganized background and inconsistent shaping caused the design to appear unfit. ES had poor detail. His work was cluttered and hidden within its own design. Craig had a poor background but decent design overall. Details were mediocre and not up to par. Kyle executed decent detail but could have done more. He spent too much time coloring, less on line work and that hurt his efforts. Joshua had a basic mask design. He had bad placement on the butt crack of the canvas. Tatu Baby had a good tattoo, but the overall look appeared unfinished. Jason had good detail and good design for the challenge, but non-anatomical with limbs coming from unknown source. Made Rich was on the chopping block in the end. His tattoo did not meet the standards of the challenge.
The worst artist, as voted by the human canvas jury, was Joshua.

Episode 7: Monumental Mistakes[edit]

Episode 7

First aired August 27, 2013

Craig was able to create a decent piece, but needed to have background to show perspective dimension. Jackie's work was too dark and that took away from the realistic portrait she was going for. Jime created a cartoonish work that appeared unrealistic. The use of black would have rendered a better work. Joey was complimented for his shading, line-work, and detail in his black and white rendition of the landmark chosen.
ES had a similar challenge as Joey, however his appeared all similar sized, and did not show as much dimension. Kyle had a well structured tattoo with good detail showing from the beginning, but as his work drew on, it showed duration is not his strong side. Joshua had a good outline, but that was it; he showed no detail nor dimension and that failed to hit the mark. Jason did not have a realistic dimensional tattoo. He lacked realistic shading where needed. Tatu Baby had a similar issue. Her work had good shaping and was well executed, but her shadows failed to show realistic detail and dimension. ES was eliminated due to his poor dimension skill on his bridge tattoo, despite Joshua's having no dimension.
The worst artist, as voted by the human canvas jury, was Tatu Baby.
The Episode 8 teaser showed previous artist of Ink Master Season 2, leading everyone to believe they may be in the canvas pool for the next episode. It also depicted Tatu Baby stating she may drop from the competition, seeking council from the judges.

Episode 8: Baby Don't Go[edit]

Episode 8

First aired September 3, 2013

The winners of the flash challenge receives a fully paid trip to Germany to visit the Jägermeister facility and receive a private tour.

The teams are

Tatu Baby and Jime; Joey and Craig; Joshua and Kyle; Jackie and Jason
During the shakedown, the judges had mixed views over the field. Jime received positive feedback for his cute work and realism to the stance vs body posture. Joey also had a well produced work with good proportions and sexiness. The roll down quickly accelerated to mid-range from this point. Craig had an overall decent work, but was unappealing and his shading weakness with black and gray showed again.
Kyle had a design had good legs but the foot was out of proportion. Tatu Baby was not as proportioned as she should be for the profile and placement, her shining point had passed her by this challenge. Chris had a middle of the road run with a decent tattoo. Jason's tattoo had unrealistic hands and feet, it was unevenly blended but an ok design. Joshua had not enough black or outlining. Cute photo but not dark enough on the outline. received heavy criticism. Jackie had good proportion until the midsection. Her design dropped the ball in 10% of the tattoo.
In the recall, Tatu Baby mentioned she was ready to drop out because of embarrassment and poor works over the past few episodes. She was disappointed in herself, however the judges convinced her to renounce her status as a dropout if she was not voted out. Joshua and Craig were also emotional as they faced a steep wall that needed climbing, and the results this far were not what they expected. Craig was eliminated after deliberation by the judges determined his tattoo was the worst of the group.
The worst artist, as voted by the human canvas jury, was Joshua.
The Episode 9 teaser indicated the group has to do engraving into skulls. Other conflicts were shown between the artists as the field dwindles down.

^Note 2A : Jessie Smith, Mike Tacij, Lalo Yunda, Steve Tefft, Jamie Davies and Tray Benham, contestants from Season 2, were not present in this episode.

Episode 9: Skulls and Villains[edit]

Episode 9

First aired September 10, 2013

After winning the flash challenge, Joshua handed out the best of the tattoos on the list to the ones who hated him most, the artists who consistently rank at the bottom were handed the hardest designs, in a deceptive twist to keep his rivals guessing. To their objections, Joshua had logic in his choices.
The judges called Kyle up first. He presented nice detail, showed excellent depth control, great blending. He was haunted by an unfinished background, but overall well done. Consistently shown Joey had a nicely detailed with skills in shading, highlighting, and straight lines prevalent and consistency really showed here. Joshua did well as he had a consistent design with good highlighting that was accurate to the original. Tatu Baby received decent feedback with regards to good linework, shading and coloring. She disappointed when her work looked unfinished with a sudden stop. She was consistent, but unfinished. Not her first time with this problem this season, or last. With Jason, the judges were split, colors were the topic. One liked, the other did not. Consistency did show.
Jackie had a lot of bad linework. Consistency did not show a good mark to this design and a backwards tattoo. Jime rounded out the bottom with a style that was no comic book icon. The consistency and escense was decent, but more could be there. The judges clearly expected better out of this frequent visitor among the highest marks.
The worst artist, as voted by the human canvas jury, was Jime.
With Ink Master LIVE fast approaching, Episode 10 depicts a narrowing road of contestants, destined to face off for the title. There were hints that eyelid tattoos are on the table, as someone is sent packing with no deliberation from the judges. This is the end of the line for one contestant.

Episode 10: Eyes of the Beholder[edit]

Episode 10

First aired September 17, 2013

With the number of artist remaining, and having a live person to use instead of a photo, the judges have high hopes for the remaining members of the competition.
Jason was first up in the critique. He had a good overall look, but the blending of the hair could have been more accurate. He also changed a few features, and it showed when comparing side by side with the model.
Joey was number 2 and the judges were hitting him pretty hard for his design being a little on the dark side, as it appeared to show the model being somewhat angry in the portrait. It will lighten but the judges focused on the darkness moreso than the design but overall a well done piece. Kyle overly worked this tattoo. It appeared to be fairly accurate to photo, but just appeared scary. He could have done better and not doing so almost cost him the competition.
Jime performed a decent work, a little overly dark and shading could have made this tattoo, but it held him back. He stated his portrait skills were not used in a few years, and that did appear in his work.
Tatu Baby and Josh received the rave reviews. Tatu Baby's work looks very accurate. She added a couple of highlights that made it stand out and really 'pop'. A very well done piece. Joshua being the last guy on the block, had a fairly difficult work but he captured it well. He is a good portrait artist, only failed to show depth and trapped the face into a solid area for at least the 2nd time in this competition. Had he just tapered the hair to a natural end, he could have won this challenge.
The worst artist, as voted by the human canvas jury, was Kyle.
The next episode displayed tribute to US soldiers, and presented a statement of a fallen soldier. Its expected to be an emotional episode.

Episode 11: Heroes and Heads[edit]

Episode 11

First aired September 24, 2013

The judges began with Jime. He did well, especially with a scar in the path of the canvas. Anatomically his design could have been more accurate, but this is where the judges were opposing. It was clear the claws were out of order when looking at the whole picture.
Joey had a design that followed the curvature well and appeared to be 3d. Chris did hit him for his anatomy and accuracy of appendages as well as his linework.
Kyle had a little less detail than the judges were looking for and they voiced it. His work appeared somewhat blurred and low detailed, however the judges did not lecture him for this. They did tell him that from a distance one could not tell what the tattoo was supposed to be.
Tatu Baby did a decent piece. The color was top notch, but the linework was a little lax. The overall anatomy was not as great as she has shown she could do in the past. She has been hit for this numerous times and now is not the time to make these mistakes.
Joshua drew mixed reviews from the judges. One side liked it, the other end of the table despised it. His drawing ability is low and his lack of skill in drawing appeared in this tattoo. As a result, Joshua was the next contestant to be eliminated from his past mistakes that became too much to ignore from the judges, and his design was less detailed than the previous one.
The worst artist, as voted by the human canvas jury, was Tatu Baby.
Episode 12 will reveal the finalist for season 3. The remaining artists have come a long way, but only one will claim the title. The teaser indicated something surprising will happen during the next episode and that all artists will learn of their fate in the Live finale.

Episode 12: Enduring the Pain[edit]

Episode 12

First aired October 1, 2013

This episode attempted to draw out the best from each artist. The artist must each tattoo a single canvas at the same time, assigned by the judges, within a 3 hour time limit; Immediately following the 3 hour sitting, they must apply a custom tattoo they created within 6 hours on dedicated canvases. Judging will include both tattoos.
Jime's first tattoo by Chuey Quintanar was applied well. His shading and line-work was on par. On his 2nd tattoo, he did his new-school, and it is was well done. The line-work and coloring combined with shading proved to be one of his best works.
Kyle's first tattoo by Seth Ciferri had a simple, bold design and was well executed. However his second application, the judges were criticizing on the overall design as it was difficult to read. The texture was even, and should have fluctuated across the tattoo.
Tatu Baby's first tattoo by Troy Denning she did not finish. The shading and line-work was well done in the portions where it was completed but the unfinished work for the third time this season may result in elimination. The second design was well done. She strong lines, even shading and good coloring; a contradiction to her first tattoo, she showed her ability is there, however the unfinished first tattoo weighed heavily on the judges decision to keep her.
Joey's first tattoo by Cory Millers was decently applied. The judges did say it was a little too dark in the background, and shading didn't define his tattoo. Joey's tiger was well done from a glance. It wasnt exactly anatomical, but well done.
Kyle became the final contestant to be eliminated as his tattoo was difficult to read, despite the first one being easily readable, as well as not having won any elimination challenges and being down three times in a row. Despite this, the judges informed Kyle that he and the other eliminated contestants may have a second chance of coming back for season four of Ink Master, depending on the votes from the viewers.
There was no official human canvas vote for this challenge.
Episode 13 will reveal the Winner for season 3.

Episode 13: Ink Master Live: The Epic Finale[edit]

Episode 13

First aired October 8, 2013

The live 2 hour finale started with a quick recap. It transitioned into the 2 artists who received the highest number of votes. Unlike season 2, audience voting was counted ahead of time resulting in Chris May and Kyle Dunbar having the opportunity to apply a tattoo live in a battle for the returning contestant for season 4. The time limit was 6 hours to complete the tattoo.
The remaining artist and finalist were brought onto stage and the judges offered the chance to previous and current artist to voice their reasons and experiences for applying for and partaking in Ink Master. Josh was given solemn advice by other contestants and judges regarding his attitude.
It was announced that "Madison Maddie la Belle" Loftis will not return to season 4 and was excluded from the season 4 return voting due to pregnancy.
James "Danger" Harvey will not return due to personal reasons not given and was excluded from the voting process because of this. He was not present during the finale.
The canvases throughout the season were given a voice, and some were asked to the finale for comments. Some of the comments were more argumentative toward their artists, and others were appreciative. Even the judges were drawn into some of the crossfire in debate of their judging of tattoos.
The judges decided to produce the vote tally for the various artist levels of popularity during the live finale. They also reviewed some of the controversial eliminations and season tattoos.
The person with the highest number of votes throughout the season will receive a guest artist spot and Oliver Peck's and Chris Nunez's respective shops. Joey Hamilton was the winner and most popular artist of the season.
By this time in the episode, the 6 hours time limit for Chris and Kyle's tattoos had expired, and in traditional fashion, along with audience participation, a countdown from 10 to a saying synonymous with Dave Navarro's saying "machines down, no more ink" was announced. Kyle's tattoo all the judges liked. He was told he needed to use more black, but very well done. Chris received a great review as well, being his best on camera this far. Both artist were asked why this quality work wasn't produced during the season where it could have led to their crowning of Ink Master. Chosen solely by the audience, the winner and recipient of a season 4 contestant seat is Kyle with over 170,000 votes.
The show lead to interviewing the three finalist, starting with Tatu Baby. She went over some challenges and thoughts during the season, and was glad she didn't quit.
Joey Hamilton was next. He was happy to have made it to the finale and was glad to be part of it. In classic competitive fashion, he compared himself to the other 2 finalist.
Jime rounded out the trio with his comments and expression of excitement. His comments were similar to the previous.
  • The Critique
The season widdled to this, Tatu Baby's back tattoo was first up. It was a half naked Native American and a wolf. The judges picked on the placement and the continuity and pointed out some areas that should have been tighter. Overall it was satisfactory, but may not win the competition.
Joey received some decent feedback. His design was a half naked mermaid in an aquatic environment on a leg. It shows he spent some time on it. The design was missing some contrast and would have had benefit with additional black to bring out the emotion and depth for added 'pop', but was well done.
Jime did a full chest/stomach tattoo of a traditional battle royal, only without the battle. It appeared dull, and lacked punch. Colors and black could have been better but lacked in key areas. Despite his rebut, the judges still hit him. The background overcrowded and overshadowed his primary artwork. He was chastised for not staying where he was comfortable for this design.
There was no official human canvas vote for this episode.
Season 4 will see the return of Kyle.

External links[edit]