The third season of Ink Master premieres Tuesday, July 16 at 10/9c on SPIKE and it promises to be a season like no other. Not only are the challenges bigger, but because you demanded it – literally – a contestant from a prior season will get another chance to compete for the title of Ink Master.
That's right, Tatu Baby is back!
Viewers voted for her return after a controversial elimination in the season's second to last episode. She's not the only one, though, whose elimination irked fans and generated some controversy. Here's a list of five of the most shocking and controversial "Ink Master" eliminations.
Jamie's exit in season two is perhaps the most controversial elimination in the show's history and definitely the most debated. Jamie had lasted through ten episodes and established himself as one of the top artists in the competition. While he struggled with the dimensions challenge, the judges ultimately decided to send him home not only because of the tattoo he drew, but because he didn't have any tattoos himself despite being in the business for seventeen years. Some argued that a lack of tattoos doesn't prevent someone from being a good artist, others - including Dave Navarro on his own personal blog - think that being able to emphasize with a client by feeling the pain of getting a tattoo and having something permanently inked on your body is essential to becoming a great artist.
Sarah became an unfortunate victim of the backlash of Jamie's elimination, since she was the other half of the bottom two in that episode. As a result there were many that said she had skated her way to the finals and should have been eliminated earlier, even though she had won challenges. On the other hand, others felt that she should have won the series outright and got eliminated too soon.
Oliver Peck said that his work on a pin-up was the best tattoo of the entire season, and also praised a Grim Reaper tat that Helm spent 12 hours on as "badass." Unfortunately, the voting came in with Shane O'Neill pronounced the winner.
Passionate but inexperienced, the brash Kay Kutta proved to be perfect for reality TV even if not for the tattoo parlor. His eviction split viewers, with some saying the judges should have kept him on to prove himself while others thought he should have been gone sooner.
Because of her consistent work and popularity, many expected Tatu Baby to make it to the finals. She nearly did, but didn't make it past the second-to-last elimination challenge. Luckily for her, the producers of "Ink Master" decided to put it to fans to vote for their favorite, and the winner was invited back for season three.
This season, Tatu Baby has a shot at redemption. How will she fare? Will she fulfill her destiny to become Ink Master or will the extra pressure and expectations of the judges prove to be too much? Find out on the season premiere of Ink Master on Tuesday, July 16th at 10/9c on SPIKE.