– ♪We lc♪ome. You’ve made it this far, but only one of you
will earn $100,000, a feature in "Inked" magazine, and most importantly,
the title of Ink Master. – Yes. – Remember, coaches,
each artist from your team that makes it to the finale
earns you the power to call a shot
in the master face-off for $100,000. – Yeah.
– In a competition this intense, even the tiniest advantage
can change the game completely. – For this flash challenge,
once again, coaches, you will be tattooing. – [exhales] – This week, we’re testing
– Technical application
is pretty much how you put the ink
into the skin. – Today, you must create a micro-realistic
insect tattoo. – [chuckling] – In an area no bigger
than two inches by two inches. It will take the application
skills of a master to flawlessly apply
every microscopic detail. – This is one of the things
I do at home. I haven’t won a single
master face-off. Anthony’s won one.
Steve’s won one. It’s my time to show up
on this tattoo and beat both of them out. – No bigger than
two inches by two inches.
In a tattoo this small, a blowout is gonna
be a big thing. It’s gonna ruin everything. – The smaller something gets, the harder it is to tattoo. Technical application
with an insect means every single hair,
every single wing– everything has to be perfect. – Win this challenge
and you will have the power to assign
all the human canvases in the elimination tattoo. – Let’s meet your canvases. ♪ ♪ Canvases,
please tell us what insect you’re looking
to get today. – I would like to get a bee. – I want a beetle. – I like that. – I want a praying mantis.
– I hope to God
we don’t get stuck with that praying mantis. It’s such a big, long bug that there’s no way to put
that whole thing inside of a two-inch square. You might as well
just put one line and call it a praying mantis. – Canvases, one by one,
please choose a skull. The name on the bottom
of your skull will determine your artist. – Steve.
– What’s up, bro? Micro praying mantis.
The "Ink Master" gods
are trying to screw me. – DJ.
– Yes. – See that?
Manifested it. – Anthony.
– ‘Sup, man? – Okay, coaches. You have two hours, and your time starts.now. – Whoo!
– Yeah. – What’s up, buddy?
– How you doing, man? – Hi, I’m Cindy.
– All right, I’m stoked. – We’re testing
technical application. With these tiny micro-tattoos, it’s all about intricate,
small, perfect little details. – This is what I do.
I do a lot of mini stuff. I want to show, like,
a cool shadow and make it look like you can
pull that little bug off. – With only two or three
players on each team, they can’t afford to lose
any more players. Getting the advantage is huge. – So the first thing
I’m gonna do is try to give you a praying mantis. – It has to be, like,
two inches? Like the exact size?
– Everything has to be two inches, bro.
– Damn. – Yeah.
– Two inches might be too small for a praying mantis.
Praying mantises are big. To make it that small.
– Right. Yeah. – You lose everything. Steve and I, we don’t see eye to eye
all the time. You know, I’ve been
getting shut down by the guy for ideas
over and over again, but we’re down to two people
on Team Steve. If Steve doesn’t win this,
it could be down to one. Look at this. – It’s a fly, man.
– [laughs] – Like, that’s really cool,
and, like, I’m down. I want you guys to win,
you know what I mean? So, like, I’m–I don’t
really care, honestly. – I’m really trying to give
you what you want. – You know what?
[bleep] it. – You want the fly? – Yeah.
– Okay. Jeremy and I are still
in a little weird spot. He has a lot of ideas–
outside of here, they work great,
but in here, it’ll just send you
to the bottom. I got to find a way to use
some of his ideas, ignore everything else,
and then we can move forward. All right, coach.
You tell me today. – [chuckles] ♪ ♪ – Yo, that thing is small. I finally get to tattoo
another subject matter I have not done before. I don’t do micro tattoos. – Just like that?
Okay. My wife has always told me, "Don’t puff up
and don’t shrink." – I’d just literally shade
all that with a single needle. – I’m listening to my team. I’m getting some input
and ideas from them. – Throw some tricks in there. – With my technical
application and the support of my team, these other guys
don’t stand a chance. – One hour left. ♪ ♪ – I just want, like,
a cool 3/4 with a shadow under it.
I want a good shine in it. I think I got these coaches
in this challenge. – Sick.
– No flaws. I have a wife and two kids,
and I do this all for them. I’ve gotten myself out of
a huge mess in life. I’ve had guns to my head
after a tattoo. I would sit in the bathroom
at the tattoo shop, and I would cook crack cocaine
just to get through the day. ♪ ♪ I had to completely
turn my life around to get to the point
I’m at today. If anyone has
the passion and drive to win this thing
twice in a row, it’s me. – That’s awesome.
I think that’s cool as [bleep]. You got huge contrast–
nice deep black. – Are you gonna do more
with the eye here? – Like more shading on the eye?
– Yeah, I’m definitely gonna do more shading on the eye.
– Okay. – I just wanted to get
the detail in first. – I know Steve can
pull out a win. – Good looking out. – He’s been the underdog,
I think, when it comes to the coaches.
You know, he’s old-school. He’s been tattooing
for a long time, but he’s shown that
he can beat them on any day. – It needs black off the.
– You got to– yep, yep, yep. – No matter how hard
Steve and Anthony work today, DJ is the king
of micro-realism, and no one can touch that. ♪ ♪ – Five, four, three, two. one.
That’s it. Machines down.
Time is up. No more ink. – I love it, dude.
That is awesome. – I wanted to hook you up.
– You got a lot of detail in there. Definitely,
it’s between you and DJ. – Check out your bug. – Oh, that’s dope. – Hopefully we win this one, ’cause if we do,
everybody’s [bleep]. – All right, brother.
Take a look, man. – This is really cool.
There’s a lot of detail in there.
I love it. – Killed it, bro.
– Well, hopefully, bro. All right, well, I’m–
[stammers, exhales] Let’s do that again.
Ready? – Yeah, no problem.
– [laughs] – Jesus Christ.
– Just do it. Just do it. High five.
– All right, bro. Jesus Christ. The motley crew
that is my team. – [laughs] – All right, guys.
It is time to critique your work. Anthony, let’s start with you. – You set out to do
a clean tattoo and were able to deliver that. The application in this tattoo
is really smooth. There’s no redness.
There’s no trauma. Everything’s deliberate.
More than anything, it looks like
a believable insect. – The segments
are really defined. It’s tiny, but the details
are big enough to stand clear. – The drop shadow
is really nice under the translucent wings, so you still get the effect
of these wings being detailed, yet they give off
this little bit of shadow, which you got perfectly.
– Thanks. – My biggest fear right now
is DJ’s beetle didn’t allow the opportunity to have
some of the extra textures that Anthony was able
to put in between the fur and the translucence
of the wings. – Killed it. – DJ.
– I’m really liking it. It’s super tight
and super clean. You went with a realistic take
on this thing. It looks really slick. The stuff you put on the back
of the beetle shell has a really great look to it. – It looks like you can drag
your finger over it and feel the texture. How you juxtaposed
the gray to the black, to the gray to the black
so that you can see the bending turns
is a real feather in your cap. – It really does have a
three-dimensional look. It looks like it could be
actually sitting on her leg. – Thanks, guys. [whispering] Might be
throwing a bunch of golden bullets at people. – Steve.
– I really like this tattoo and I really like
how it somehow looks like your style in there.
It looks evil. It has that little
evil face to it. Getting away from the mantis
was the best choice. – This thing is
every bit of detail. This magnified take on
this thing is almost ominous. I mean, it really suits
your style, but then, at the same time,
every leg, every line, every little thing
on this thing is flawless. – Thanks.
– I’m feeling a little bit better about Steve. He showed me some respect, and that goes
a long way to me. I respect him
a little bit more. – If this is a view into
the future of what we have to look
forward to in the finale, seeing you three
compete against one another, we’re in for a hell of a ride. – Killer tattoos, man. This is what we want
going forward. We want tough decisions.