This Ink Master special pitted four previous winners of the show against each other. Steve Tefft (Season 2), Joey Hamilton (Season 3), Scott Marshall (Season 4), and Jason Clay Dunn (Season 5) all returned to compete head-to-head.
In the first challenge all four artists had to tattoo the same canvas at the same time. They drew skulls to determine where on her body each of them would work. Steve and Jason were assigned each of her legs; Joey and Scott were assigned her arms. As one would expect from four previous winners, none of the tattoos were bad, and each artist stayed with their own style: Steve drew a skull, Joey a photorealistic lion, Scott a bright-colored biomechanical, and Jason a Japanese-style flower. Scott won the challenge, earning an advantage in the next challenge.
The second challenge was to tattoo portraits of President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. Of the four canvases, two wanted tattoos of President Obama, two wanted President Bush. The artists would each go head-to-head based on the subject, and the loser of each head-to-head match-up would be eliminated, cutting the competition immediately in half.
Scott handily defeated Jason with a portrait of President George W. Bush, sending Jason home. The competition between Steve and Joey was extremely close. Both artists produced great tattoos. In the end, however, the judges decided that Steve slightly edged out Joey, and Joey was eliminated.
In the final challenge, Steve and Scott were able to assign the style for their opponent. Steve decided to give Scott “American traditional” so Scott returned the favor. With both competitors tattooing in the same style, it became an apples-to-apples comparison. Both tattoos were extremely well done, but Steve definitely regretted his decision when he heard judge Chris Nunez declare Scott’s tattoo “the best traditional tattoo we’ve ever seen in Ink Master, by far.”
The winner: Scott Marshall.