Spike returns with more skin in the game going into season three of its hit original series “Ink Master,” which returns Tuesday, July 16 at 10 PM, ET/PT and will culminate with a LIVE finale in October. Sixteen of top tattoo artists will battle it out in permanent ink for a $100,000 grand prize, an editorial feature in Inked and, of course, the bragging rights title of ‘Ink Master.’ For the first time this season, the show’s Human Canvases will have a vote in the Elimination Tattoo, helping to determine which artist is ultimately sent home.
Each episode puts the artist through their paces, competing in various 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.’ Artists will be asked to tattoo in a number of distinct styles including black and gray, realism, pin-up, cover-up and Asian, among others. The masterpieces these artists create will last forever, but so will their mistakes.
After every challenge the contestants face a tough panel made up of Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction), renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez (“Miami Ink”) and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo) and a roster of guest judges. Also this season, the Human Canvases will have their 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, expect to witness heated arguments and wicked emotions as the Canvases defend their new ink and protect their artist.
In the season opener the artists are literally put behind bars the moment they arrive when they must create a prison-style, single-needle fine line tattoo on actual convict Canvases in a prison cell. The artists are further challenged during the Elimination Tattoo to perform a cover-up tattoo on their Human Canvases, ex-cons looking for redemption and a new life “on the outside,” got while serving time.
The “Ink Master” Season Three tattoo artists are (listed in alphabetical order):
E.S. – Artist at Forever Custom Tattoos in Bridgeport, CT
Mystical Mike – Artist at Physical Graffiti in Bronx, NY
James Danger – Owner and artists at Skin Gallery Tattoo in Sacramento, CA
Kyle Dunbar – Owner and artist at Almighty Tattoo in Flint, MI
Jason Clay Dunn – Owner and artist at Tattoo Alchemy in Montclair, CA
Katherine “Tatu Baby” Flores – Self-employed tattoo artist in Miami, FL
Craig Foster – Owner and artist at Skinwerks in Carolton, GA
Joey “Hollywood” Hamilton – Artist at Club Tattoo Las Vegas in Las Vegas, NV
Joshua Hibbard – Artist at No Hope, No Fear Tattoo in Portland, OR
Jackie Jennings – Artist at Tru Blu in Philadelphia, PA
Ally Lee – Owner and artist at Hot Rod Alley Tattoo in Santa Cruz, CA
Jime Litwalk – Artist at Hart & Huntington Co. and Steadfast Brand in Orlando, FL
Madison “Maddie la Bellie” Loftis – Artist at Corrupted Arts Studio in Greensboro, NC Chris May – Owner and artist at Proton Tattoo in Creston, IL
Frank McManus – Artist at Bryan Campbell Tattoo Studio in New Cumberland, PA
Richard “Made Rich” Parker – Owner and artist at Think Before You Ink in Corona, NY
Fans are encouraged to ‘like’ the official “Ink Master” Facebook page and join in the “Ink Master” conversation by following @SPIKETV on Twitter and using #InkMaster. Biographies, photo gallery portfolios videos introducing the contestants can be found on Spike’s dedicated “Ink Master” destination online, inkmaster.spike.com. There users can also find full episodes, video clips and blog posts, which will be updated throughout the season. Viewers can also take part in weekly voting for their favorite artist and tattoo design which will help to determine the winner of this season’s competition. The latest in tattoo culture and show news can be found on the “Ink Master” Tumblr, Pinterest and on Instagram @spiketv.
“Ink Master” was Spike’s highest rated original series in 2012. Season two averaged 2 million viewers and dramatically broadened the audience in its timeslot, posting a +113% increase with Men 18-49 and +161% with Persons 18-49 compared to the prior year. In it’s Tuesday 10-11 PM, ET/PT “Ink Master” ranked among the top 5 in all key demos and the LIVE finale was the #1 original program on all cable that day among P 18-49 and in it’s time slot won its time period on cable among M 18-49, M 18-34 and P 18-34.
“Ink Master” is produced for Spike by Original Media, with Charlie Corwin, Jay Peterson, and Andrea Richter as Executive Producers of the series. Original Media currently has seventeen television series on air including the hit shows “NY Ink,” “Comic Book Men,” “The Rachel Zoe Project,” “Swamp People,” “BBQ Pitmasters,” “Dual Survival” and “Mudcats.” Headquartered in New York, Original Media is a subsidiary of Endemol USA.
Sharon Levy is Spike’s Executive Vice President, Original Series and Chris Rantamaki and is Vice President of Original Programming for Spike and oversees production of “Ink Master.”