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'Ink Master': Meet the Contestants



Premiering Tuesday, January 17, the new Spike TV reality competition series, hosted by Dave Navarro, features 10 tattoo artists looking to make their mark.



"Ink Master" contestants, judges and host
Ink Master contestants, judges and hostDecember 8, 2011

Lea Vendetta in "Ink Master"
Lea Vendetta in "Ink Master"
Heather Sinn in "Ink Master"
Heather Sinn in "Ink Master"
NEW YORK, NY — Spike is looking to get under viewers' skin with the series premiere of "Ink Master," the first-ever tattoo competition reality series starting Tuesday, January 17 at 10 PM, ET/PT. Ten of the nation's top tattoo artists from around the country will 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.' 

"Ink Master" contestants will compete in various tattoo challenges that not only test the artists' technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity, where they must create and execute an original tattoo on command. Challenges focus on different tattooing techniques, such as shading, line and proportion, and styles including photorealism, Tribal, American traditional, and pin-up. 

The tension and stakes are high in "Ink Master." Every week, the artists face a tough panel made up of series host Dave Navarro, renowned tattoo artists Chris Nuñez ("Miami Ink") and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo). A roster of some of the top names within the tattoo community appear during certain challenges as guest judges, acclaimed artists Scott Campbell and Jack Rudy, Inked magazine creative director Todd Weinberger and celebrity tattoo aficionados NBA player Chris Andersen and Ton Jones ("Auction Hunters"). Of course, they will also have to face the opinions of the people they actually tattoo. These 'human canvases' range from tattoo virgins to connoisseurs with a full sleeve of body art to those who want to cover up a prior tattoo misstep. Satisfying the individual whose skin now bears the artists' handiwork will also be a major element in determining the victor. The masterpieces will last forever, but so will the mistakes.  

The "Ink Master" Season One tattoo artists are (listed in alphabetical order):
  • Al Fliction, 42 – Owner and artist at Bklyn Ink in Brooklyn, New York.
  • Jeremy Miller, 27 – Owner and artist at Pigment Dermographics and Fine Art in Austin, Texas.
  • Tommy Helm, 38 – Owner and artist at Empire State Studio, Oceanside, New York.
  • Shane O'Neill, 39 – Owner and artist at Shane O'Neill Tattoo shops in Middleton, Delaware, and Willow Grove, Pennsylvania.
  • Brian "B-Tat" Robinson – Owner and artist at Moving Ink based out of Essex County, New Jersey.
  • Heather Sinn, 41 – Co-owner and artist of The Tattoo Room in Simi Valley, California.
  • James Vaughn, 38 – Owner and artist at Straight A Tattoo in Asheboro, North Carolina.
  • Bili Vegas, 29 – Owner and artist at Sacred Tattoo in New York, New York.
  • Lea Vendetta, 40 – Artist at A Stroke of Genius Tattoos in Boca Raton, Florida.
  • Josh Woods, 30 – Owner and artist at Black 13 Tattoo in Nashville, Tennessee.
Eight one-hour episodes of "Ink Master" are produced for Spike by Original Media, with Charlie Corwin and Jay Peterson as executive producers of the series. Original Media currently has fifteen television series on air including the hit shows "NY Ink," "LA Ink," "The Rachel Zoe Project," "Swamp People," "Storm Chasers," "Dual Survival" and "BBQ Pitmasters." Headquartered in New York, Original Media is a subsidiary of Endemol USA. Sharon Levy is Spike TV's executive vice president, original series and animation, Chris Rantamaki is vice president of original programming for Spike TV.
 
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Season 5

 

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