Spike TV’s hit original and the first tattoo reality-competition series “Ink Master” returns for a fourth season starting Tuesday, February 25 at 10 pm ET/PT, and this time it’s going to be a street fight. Tattoo artists from around the country will battle it out in permanent ink and sometimes with each other for a $100,000 grand prize, an editorial feature in Inked and, of course, the bragging rights title of ‘Ink Master.’
Each week “Ink Master” puts artist through a series of tattoo challenges that are not only designed to test the artists’ technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity, where they must create and execute an original tattoo by command on a ‘Human Canvas.’ Each episode focuses on a different and distinct style of tattooing including realism, black and gray, geometric, neo-traditional, Asian and cover-up, among others. The masterpieces these artists create will last a lifetime, but so will their mistakes.
After every challenge, the contestants face a tough panel made up of series host Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) and world renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez (“Miami Ink”) and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo) who are joined by a roster of guest judges including CC Sabathia, Rob Zombie and Brandon Rios.
Once again the Human Canvases, who volunteer their bodies to be tattooed by the “Ink Master” contestants, will have a say in who gets sent home. The Canvases will form their own jury, deliberate as a group and pick one artist per episode who will be up for elimination. In the jury room, viewers get an inside look at the heated arguments and wicked emotions as the Canvases defend or abandon their new ink and artist.
A new twist for Season Four is that the winner of each week’s Elimination Tattoo challenge will also get to put an artist up for elimination along with the Human Canvas jury and the series judges.
In the season opener the artists put ink-to-skin right from the get-go. There are seventeen artists standing, but only one — Kyle Dunbar who was voted back to compete in the Season 3 finale — with a guaranteed spot this season. It’s a cut-throat competition for the remaining 15 spots as artists take part in a “tattoo convention” and “show your artistic style” challenges.
The “Ink Master” Season Four tattoo artists are (listed in alphabetical order):
- David Bell (@davidbelltattoo) –Owner/artist at TLA Tattoos in Fredericksburg, VA
- Ashley Bennett (@ashleybtattoo) – Artist at Body Graphics in South Windsor, CT
- “Gentle” Jay Blondel (@Gentl_jay) – Artist at Alchemy Tattoo Arts in North Bellmore, NY
- Lydia Bruno (@inkbyLydia) – Co-owner/artist at Unique Arts Studio in Glens Falls, NY
- Damon Butler (@hautedraws) – Manager/artist at Extreme Fantasy in Abington, MA
- Keith Diffenderfer (@kdiffenderfer) – Artist at Honor & Iron in Rehoboth Beach, DE
- Kyle Dunbar (@InkbyKyleDunbar) – Owner/artist at Almighty Tattoo in Flint, MI
- Jim Francis (@tattooedjim) – Owner/artist at Milwaukee Ink in Milwaukee, WI
- Walter “Sausage” Frank (@Sausagekingtat) – Artist at Club Tattoo in Las Vegas, NV
- Halo (@tattoosbyhalo) – Owner/artist at Black Lotus Tattoo Gallery in Severn, MD
- King Ruck (@therealkingruck) – Owner/artist at Black Spade Tattoo & Red Elephant Tattoo in Las Vegas, NV
- Matti Hixson (@mattihixson) – Artist at Trinity Tattoo in Virginia Beach, VA
- Bubba Irwin (@bubbairwin) – Owner/artist at Old Town Ink in Scottsdale, AZ
- Scott Marshall (@smarshalltattoo) – Artist at Roselle Tattoo Co. in Roselle, IL
- Melissa Monroe (@Monroever) – Artist at Homeward Bound Tattoo in Port Washington, WI
- Roland Pacheco (@Roland_Pacheco) – Owner/artist at Xisle Custom Tattoo in Hawi, HI
- Randy Vollink (@randyvollink) – Artist at Club Tattoo in Scottsdale, AZ
Viewers can find out more about each artist including biographies, photo galleries, artwork portfolios and artist introduction videos by logging on to inkmaster.spike.com . Throughout the season fans can watch full episodes, video clips and are encouraged to take part in weekly voting polls tied to each episode. Fans can ‘like’ the official “Ink Master” Facebook page and join in the “Ink Master” conversation by following @spikeinkmaster on Twitter and using #InkMaster. The latest in tattoo culture and series news can be found on the “Ink Master” Tumblr and on Instagram @spiketv.
“Ink Master” was Spike’s highest rated original series in 2013. Season three was its highest rated and most watched ever, averaging 2.1 million viewers and dramatically broadening the audience in its timeslot, posting a +243% increase with Men 18-49 and +257% with Persons 18-49 compared to the year ago time period. In its Tuesday 10-11 PM ET/PT slot, “Ink Master” ranked among the top 5 in all key demos and the LIVE finale was the #1 original program in the time slot among P 18-49. During the season, Cross Platform Video Views per week were up +38% versus the prior season.
“Ink Master” is produced for Spike by Charlie Corwin’s Original Media, with Charlie Corwin and Andrea Richter as Executive Producers of the series.
Sharon Levy is Spike’s Executive Vice President, Original Series with Chris Rantamaki is the network’s Senior Vice President of Original Series. Kevin Bartel, the Vice President of Series Development, oversees production of “Ink Master” for Spike.
Founded in 2002, Charlie Corwin’s Original Media has built a strong reputation for cutting-edge content and quality production. Original Media produces hundreds of hours of award-winning content across multiple media formats including Academy Award nominated feature films, reality television, scripted television and digital programming and currently has fifteen television series on air. Some of Original Media’s hit television series shows “NY Ink,” “LA Ink,” “The Rachel Zoe Project,” “Swamp People,” “Storm Chasers,” “Dual Survival” and “BBQ Pitmasters.” Original Media produced the Academy Award nominated films The Squid and the Whale and Half Nelson. The company, headquarters in New York, is a subsidiary of Endemol USA.
Spike TV is available in 98.7 million homes and is a division of Viacom Media Networks. A unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), Viacom Media Networks is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. Spike TV’s Internet address is www.spike.com and for up-to-the-minute and archival press information and photographs, visit Spike TV’s press site at http://www.spike.com/press. Follow us on Twitter @spiketvpr for the latest in breaking news updates, behind-the-scenes information and photos.
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In this hit tattoo competition reality series, some of the nation’s top tattoo artists battle it out in permanent ink for a $100,000 cash prize, an editorial feature in the preeminent tattoo magazine Inked and the title of ‘Ink Master.’