So. A LOT of people are super unhappy with the decision to send Jamie home on the last Ink Master. Lots of complaints regarding Jamie getting hammered about not having any body art and being sent home as a result, as if there was some sort of discrimination going on. Here is the truth. Had Jamie’s lack of art been an issue, which it was not in terms of judging the tattoos, he would have gone home week one. The unfortunate reality is that he just happened to get hammered about it on the same day he was eliminated. The judges simply liked Sarah’s wolf better than Jamie’s. Let me re-phrase that. They disliked it less. When it came down to critiques, the judges found that the big black area on Sarah’s work was less a problem than the body of Jamie’s wolf taking up so much of his client’s arm. (Incidentally, report card wise, Sarah had won a tattoo of the day with the new school challenge, whereas Jamie never won the top spot of the day.) These points were made very clear on the program. Chris even said on the show, “Nobody is going home for a BAD tattoo.”
The biggest point the audience has been making to me is this: “Jamie was discriminated against. Sarah is annoying and should have gone home.” This statement alone is just as discriminatory as the judges are accused of being. Nobody is going home because they are annoying or don’t have tattoos or because they are aggressive. They get judged solely on their work. The audience is encouraged to agree and disagree and voice that opinion however they like but at the end of the day, the final call goes to the panel.
When we are shooting this show, the judges are with the artists during the challenges and critiquing and we pass each other in the halls once in a while. That’s really all the contact we have with them. We have no idea what they say to each other, how they interact in the house or what their personalities are like. Of course, we saw Sarah’s breakdown in front of the panel, but that was the only time we saw anything like that from her. All of this is intentional. We stay clear of the artists so we have no conception of what their personalities are in the house. We don’t want to be swayed by anything.
Now, in terms of Forrest and Oliver hammering Jamie about not having art work, their points were NOT based on appearance or commitment to the culture. Their points are valid. Jamie has been tattooing 17 years and really has no idea what it feels like when he is tattooing a client. He has no concept of what it is to have a piece of art permanently placed on the body for life. What the pain of getting tattooed feels like or how one area of the body is more sensitive than another, from personal experience. THAT was the point. The point was that he should have SOME idea of what his clients go through.
So… Agree or disagree with the decision based on the work. The fact remains that Jamie is an extremely talented artist and went a long way in the competition. He will no doubt do very well with his career.