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‘Ink Master’ & ‘Dating Naked’ Set For New Seasons At Paramount+

Ink MasterandDating Naked are set to continue on Paramount+.

Long-running reality series Ink Master was cancelled last year at Paramount Network as the cable network refocused its strategy on television movies and mini-series.

However, Paramount+ revealed that it is looking to bring back the tattoo format, which was previously hosted by Dave Navarro, and build on its 186 episodes.

The show, which launched in 2012, sees tattoo artists compete in challenges assessing their tattoo and other artistic skills. Produced by Truly Original, it has had a number of spin-offs including Ink Master: Grudge Match.

Library seasons of Ink Master will also be available on the service.

Separately, Dating Naked, which ran for three seasons on VH1, is also set for a return after its cancelation in 2017.

The dating format, which was hosted by Amy Paffrath and Rocsi Diaz, sees contestants search for a mate while naked. The show was produced by Lighthearted Entertainment.

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Ink Master: All 13 Seasons, Ranked According To IMDb Score

When Ink Master debuted in 2012, the competition-based reality show format had already been well established by other shows. But Ink Master successfully applied that format to the world of tattoo artists, creating a fun and drama-filled show. While the show was initially canceled after 13 seasons, Deadline has reported that Paramount+ will revive the show in the near future.

RELATED: 10 Worst Tattoos On Ink Master, Ranked

While it is unknown if this revival will involve a format change or new judges, the show has already undergone a number of changes throughout its history. The series has never been afraid to try something new and shake up the format by introducing new challenges and themes, resulting in many unique seasons, with some more successful than others.

13 Season 8 (6.7)

In an attempt to find more ways to reinvent the show's format, season 8 was titled Ink Master: Peck vs Nuñez and divided the contestants into two teams coached by either Oliver Peck or Chris Nuñez. The winning contestant, fan-favorite Ryan Ashley, received a guest spot at her coach's tattoo shop.

The theme for the season is a good idea, but the show does not fully commit to it and would find more success with other, better-executed themes. While it is the lowest-rated season of the show, it is far from a bad batch of episodes and still provides some great moments like the Electricity Challenge, considered one of the most difficult Flash Challenges on Ink Master.

12 Season 9 (6.7)

In an attempt to synthesize the themes of previous seasons, Ink Master: Shop Wars featured teams of two from various tattoo shops competing against each other in a tag-team style competition with some of the teams made up of new contestants and some made up of returning veterans.

RELATED: 10 Best Tattoos on Ink Master Season 9

There is a lot going on in regards to theming and it gets a little muddled. Mixing the shop teams with returning veterans is unnecessarily convoluted and the season could have just focused on delivering on its premise of competing tattoo shops.

11 Season 12 (6.9)

Continuing with the team format, season 12 was known as Ink Master: Battle of the Sexes and saw the contestants split into two teams based on gender. The teams were coached by returning veterans Ryan Ashley and DJ Tambe.

Many of the previous seasons had been predominantly focused on male contestants, with Ryan Ashley as the only previous female winner, so watching the female team dominant this season and claim the victory was a refreshing change of pace for the show.

10 Season 5 (7.0)

Season 5 shook up the format of the show and introduced the concept of themed seasons, a trend that the show would continue to incorporate into future seasons. This season was branded Ink Master: Rivals and pitted rival tattoo artists against one another.

RELATED: 10 Best Artists Who Didn't Win it All On Ink Master

By season 5, the show had become overly formulaic and was in need of tweaking. The season provided the show with the new energy it needed, but future seasons would make better use of the themes.

9 Season 4 (7.0)

Season 4 mostly adhered to the familiar format established in the first three seasons and continued to feature new and returning challenges. One of the highlights is an episode in which Hugh Jackman guest judges X-Men tattoos. As a Guinness World record holder for superhero movie appearances, Jackman is the perfect judge and fun guest appearance.

Season 4 was the last season before the show moved to brand each season as a specific theme. As a result, it does not feel quite as new as the first three seasons nor as inventive as the following seasons that had their own spin. While it's still entertaining and dramatic, the show is at this point not as unique or fresh as the three previous iterations.

8 Season 6 (7.1)

Subtitled Ink Master: Master vs. Apprentice, season 6 saw masters and their apprentices compete with and against each other. The show also increased the prize package by gifting a new car to the top artist, giving an extra incentive for winning. Like season 5, bringing contestants with history on the show led to more fighting and drama than other seasons. It is a fun season that takes the twist from season 5 and continues to improve upon it.

7 Season 13 (7.1)

Season 13, Ink Master: Turf War, found yet another way to divide contestants into teams, this time splitting up the artists by geographical region with a returning veteran coaching each of the different regions. Unfortunately, this season was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic before the live finale occurred, resulting in the season concluding without crowning a champion.

Ink Master: Turf War was on its way to being one of the better seasons in the show's history before it abruptly ended. While the conclusion is somewhat disappointing, the season is still an enjoyable new angle on the show's now-tired format.

6 Season 10 (7.1)

Season 10, Ink Master: Return of the Masters, revisited the concept of teams introduced in season 8, but this time, the teams were coached by previous Ink Master champions. The season also had the coaches competing against each other, ending with a Master Face-Off during the finale.

Ink Master: Return of the Masters was a much better execution of the team concept than season 8. By bringing in coaches who were recognizable fan-favorites and allowing them to focus on coaching, the show finally successfully delivered on the central premise of amateur artists getting advice and learning from experienced tattoo masters.

5 Season 11 (7.2)

Following up on the success of the team format in season 10, Ink Master: Grudge Match - Cleen vs. Christian once again divided the contestants into competing teams. This time, the teams were coached by returning veterans and rivals Cleen Rock One and Christian Buckingham, both of whom are among the most talented contestants on Ink Master.

Season 11 successfully brings back all of the elements that worked in season 10 and adds the extra dimension of the bad blood between Cleen and Christian. The two coaches help make this one of the most dramatic and conflict-filled seasons in the show's history.

4 Season 2 (7.3)

Season 2 brought back the judges to preside over a new group of contestants who competed in challenges such as carving an image into a rifle butt, blending women into the side of a building, and shaving designs into people's heads, in addition to many of the same tattoo categories from season 1.

This season had the tall task of following up on the well-received season 1, but it did not disappoint. With more episodes and experience from season 1, season 2 was a little more polished as the show brought back elements from previous episodes while introducing new challenges as well.

3 Season 7 (7.3)

Season 7, known as Ink Master: Revenge, pitted new contestants against eight returning veterans from previous seasons. While the veterans had the upper hand early, the rookies battled back to make it a competitive and intriguing season.

This format was the perfect way to introduce new contestants while bringing some of the biggest fan favorites in the show's history including Cleen Rock One, Sarah Miller, and Sausage. The show did a great job of selecting veterans from each of the previous seasons to create a unique mix of personalities, resulting in several of the best episodes in Ink Master history.

2 Season 1 (7.3)

While some shows take a few seasons to find their footing, Ink Master hit the ground running and immediately produced one of its best seasons ever right out of the gate. The season introduced audiences to the personalities and challenges that would become a staple of the show.

RELATED: 10 Most Controversial Moments in Ink Master's History

At just 10 episodes, season 1 is the shortest in the show's history, but the show wastes no time and packs a lot of drama into a more compact schedule. Because it is the first, the season feels fresh and exciting in a unique way that helps set it apart from other later seasons that feel more jaded.

1 Season 3 (7.4)

Season 3 introduced the recurring game element of bringing back former contestants to compete again by bringing Tatu Baby back from season 2. This twist added some energy to the show and opened the door for more fan favorites to return in the future.

As the peak of the show, season 3 is the perfect blend of fresh and polished as it aired early enough in the show's run that it still felt new and original but had two previous seasons to develop and perfect the format. In addition, this season also featured one of the most memorable moments in show history as contestants had to tattoo prisoners in a challenge.

NEXT: 10 Best Shows Like Ink Master


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Ink Master

Competition Reality

Ink Master
Ink Master spike logo.png

Title card from the first four seasons

GenreReality television
Presented byDave Navarro
Narrated by
  • Matt Knight (season 1)
  • Rick Robles (seasons 2–13)
Theme music composerVanacore Music, Inc
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons13
No. of episodes186
Executive producers
  • Steven Weinstock
  • Glenda Hersh
  • Andrea Richter
Production locationNew York City
Camera setupMultiple-camera
Running time
Production companies
Original network
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseJanuary 17, 2012 (2012-01-17) –
present (present)
Related shows

Ink Master is an American reality competition television series that aired on Paramount Network (formerly called Spike), premiering on January 17, 2012. The show features tattoo artists who compete in various challenges assessing their tattooing and related artistic skills. They are judged by renowned tattoo artists and enthusiasts, with one or more contestants being eliminated each episode. The last contestant standing each season receives a $100,000 prize, the title of Ink Master and a feature in Inked Magazine. The series is produced by Original Media, which also produced the reality show Miami Ink.

Three spin-off shows, titled Ink Master: Redemption, Ink Master: Angels and Ink Master: Grudge Match,[1][2] have also been released.[3] The series has also released a number of special standalone episodes themed around upcoming events or holidays, such as Halloween.[4]

The tenth season (titled as Ink Master: Return of the Masters) premiered on January 9, 2018, and aired its first two episodes on Spike before the network rebranded as the Paramount Network. On April 24, 2018, it was announced that Paramount Network had renewed the series for an eleventh season.[5] The twelfth season, titled Ink Master: Battle of the Sexes, premiered on June 11, 2019. On November 12, 2019, it was announced that the thirteenth season titled Ink Master: Turf War would premiere on January 7, 2020.[6]

On September 22, 2020, Paramount Network cancelled the series, as part of the network's shift to movies.[7] On December 1, 2020, the first two seasons were made available to stream on Netflix in the United States.[8] On February 24, 2021, it was announced that the series would be revived by Paramount+.[9]

Show format[edit]

Basic format[edit]

All episodes aside from the finales have the following format, with some minor variations to the application of the format:

First, there is a Flash Challenge that will be evaluated based on how well an artist met the skill of the week. Some Flash Challenges involve tattooing, but typically, flash challenges do not incorporate the act of tattooing; but, instead, will require a non-related artistic skill (i.e. painting, hair cutting, etching, burning, etc.) The winner of the flash challenge wins the right to select their own human canvas in the elimination challenge, and, as of season two, pair up the other contestants with their human canvases.

After the Flash Challenge comes the Elimination Challenge, a further test of the skill of the week on a human canvas, typically incorporating a prominent style of tattooing. Once the contestants are paired up with their canvases, they are given the day to consult with their assignment. The next day, each contestant is given four to six hours to tattoo their design. Once completed, the contestants meet as a group with the judges and are critiqued one by one. The contestants then are dismissed, with four later being called back. The four typically represent a top two and bottom two for the week, though this breakdown can change. At the end of each episode, a winner is typically declared and one contestant is eliminated.

Special format[edit]

For the finale of season one, the final challenge was a marathon tattooing of up to 18 hours. The season two finale did not share this format, and instead consisted of each of the three finalists meeting with their respective canvases for four six-hour sessions to create a final piece. This final piece did not require a specific tattoo genre or location for the artist to tattoo. Instead, the artists were able to choose those aspects for themselves, and the only restriction they faced was a time limit. The season three finale followed a similar format to the season two finale, but the artists were allowed five seven-hour sessions for a cumulative 35-hour master canvas tattoo.


Musician Dave Navarro and tattoo artists Chris Núñez and Oliver Peck served as the show's primary judges, with Navarro also serving as a host for the show.[10] Navarro and Núñez appeared in every episode, while Peck was absent on two episodes of season nine when he was recovering from a heart attack.[11] Some episodes incorporate a fourth guest judge, usually a well-known tattoo artist who has knowledge or reputation in the style of tattoo (such as New School, Traditional (old school), Japanese, Portrait, Black and Gray, etc.) chosen for the week's elimination challenge.

Season two judging was taken to a new level with audience voting participation through the series' official website, and also via Facebook voting, with the audience vote affecting the final ruling by the judges. Sebastian Murphy was eliminated from consideration by the judges in the season finale because he was the contestant whose work in the elimination challenges received the fewest votes by the audience. Season three introduced the human canvas jury, in which the human canvases review each other's tattoos and nominate for elimination the artist who did the worst piece. Season four introduced the elimination challenge winner's selection, where the challenge winner picks an artist for elimination.

In January 2020, Oliver Peck was forced out of his spot as Ink Master Judge following a controversy involving his reemerged blackface photo from his MySpace page.[12] There was no word of a replacement before the series was originally cancelled.


Season Contestants Winner(s) Runner(s)-up Third place Prizes First aired Last aired
110 Shane O'NeillTommy Helm James Vaughn
  • Title of Ink Master
  • $100,000
  • Feature in Inked magazine
January 17, 2012 March 6, 2012
216 Steve TefftSarah Miller Sebastian Murphy October 9, 2012 December 18, 2012
316 Joey HamiltonJime Litwalk Katherine "Tatu Baby" FloresJuly 16, 2013 October 8, 2013
417 Scott MarshallWalter "Sausage" Frank Matti Hixson February 25, 2014 May 20, 2014
518 Jason Clay DunnJames "Cleen Rock One" Steinke Erik Siuda September 2, 2014 December 16, 2014
618 Dave KrusemanChris Blinston Matt O'Baugh June 23, 2015 October 13, 2015
716 Anthony MichaelsJames "Cleen Rock One" Steinke Christian Buckingham
  • Title of Ink Master
  • $100,000
  • Feature in Inked magazine
March 1, 2016[13]May 24, 2016
818 Ryan Ashley MalarkeyGian Karle Cruz Kelly Doty
  • Title of Ink Master
  • $100,000
  • Feature in Inked magazine
  • Dodge Charger
  • A guest artist spot in either Núñez's or Peck's tattoo shop.
August 23, 2016[14]December 6, 2016
936 Old Town Ink
(Aaron "Bubba" Irwin and DJ Tambe)
Black Cobra Tattoos
(Katie McGowan and Matt O'Baugh)
Basilica Tattoo
(Christian Buckingham and Noelin Wheeler)
  • Title of Ink Master
  • Title of Master Shop
  • $200,000
  • Feature in Inked magazine
June 6, 2017 September 26, 2017
1018 Josh PayneJuan Salgado Roly T-Rex
  • Title of Ink Master
  • $100,000
  • Feature in Inked magazine
January 9, 2018 April 24, 2018
1118 Tony MedellinTeej Poole Tiffer Wright August 28, 2018 December 18, 2018
1218 Laura MarieDani Ryan Creepy Jason June 11, 2019 September 24, 2019
1320 N/A[a]January 7, 2020 April 14, 2020
  1. ^The live finale was canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The three finalists (Bob Jones, Angel Rose and Jimmy Snaz) were awarded a monetary prize, but none were named Ink Master.


There have been various standalone holiday and special event themed episodes made that do not follow the series seasons. They have typically followed an upcoming or recently passed holiday. These episodes feature previous Ink Master contestants competing for smaller cash prizes.[15]

Ink Master licensed a Dutch/Belgian edition called Ink Master: Meesters van de Lage Landen (Masters of the Low Countries) to Spike NL in 2017. The format remains largely intact, filming takes place mainly around Amsterdam. The winner of the first season of this edition was the Belgian contestant "Djoels". The second season takes place in IJmuiden and was won by Belgian contestant Joyce.


Ink Master: Redemption[edit]

Spin-off series Ink Master: Redemption premiered in September 2015.[16][17] The spin-off features canvases who are unhappy with the tattoo they received during the competition. After discussing their tattoo with Navarro, the canvases are given the chance to confront the artist who did the original piece. The artist is offered the chance for redemption by being able to consult with the canvas on a new tattoo (or modification to improve their existing Ink Master piece). After reviewing the artist's new drawing, the canvas is given a no-strings-attached choice to either proceed with the new tattoo or leave the shop. Episodes sometimes feature a twist, such as rival artists returning to draw a design for the same unhappy canvas, potentially stealing the original artist's chance at redemption. Ink Master: Redemption was renewed for a second season to coincide with the premiere of season 7 of Ink Master.[18]

Ink Master: Angels[edit]

Main article: Ink Master: Angels

In June 2017, Spike announced a new spin-off series titled Ink Master: Angels. The premise follows four female contestants from the eighth season of Ink Master – season winner Ryan Ashley Malarkey, Kelly Doty, Nikki Simpson and Gia Rose – as they travel around the United States to face other artists in tattoo challenges with a spot on season ten of Ink Master on the line.[19] The show premiered on October 3, 2017.

Ink Master: Grudge Match[edit]

On August 21, 2019, it was announced that a spin-off titled Ink Master: Grudge Match would premiere on October 1, 2019.[1][2] Judges for the series include former Ink Master contestants Cleen Rock One, DJ Tambe, and Ryan Ashley Malarkey.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ab"Paramount Network Expands Hit "Ink Master" Franchise with Multi-Season Renewal, Spin-Off Series, Dedicated YouTube Channel". The Futon Critic. May 7, 2019.
  2. ^ ab""Ink Master: Grudge Match" Premieres Tuesday, October 1 at 10pm ET/PT on Paramount Network". The Futon Critic. August 21, 2019.
  3. ^Bibel, Sara (May 27, 2015). "'Ink Master' Renewed for Season 7 by Spike TV; Network Orders Spin-Off 'Ink Master: Redemption'". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on May 28, 2015. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  4. ^Sacks, Ethan. "'Ink Master': Halloween gets scary – for all the wrong reasons – with horror elimination challenge". Retrieved 2021-08-20.
  5. ^Petski, Denise (April 24, 2018). "'Ink Master' Renewed For Season 11 By Paramount Network". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  6. ^"Video: New Season of Paramount Network's "Ink Master: Turf War" Trailer". The Futon Critic. November 12, 2019.
  7. ^Otterson, Joe (September 22, 2020). "Paramount Network Rebrands, Doubles Down on Movies and Minis (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  8. ^"What's New on Netflix: December 1st, 2020". whats-on-netflix. 2020-12-01. Retrieved 2020-12-07.
  9. ^White, Peter (February 24, 2021). "'Ink Master' & 'Dating Naked' Set For New Seasons At Paramount+". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  10. ^Leupp, Thomas. "Ink Master | TV". Retrieved 2014-05-13.
  11. ^"Ink Master season 9: Judge Oliver Peck doing well after heart attack". Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  12. ^"Oliver Peck leaves 'Ink Master' after blackface controversy; Paramount Network weighs in".
  13. ^Ravindran, Manori. "Renewed and returning: "Real Housewives," "Ink Master"". Real Screen. Retrieved 17 May 2015.
  14. ^"A First Look At Ink Mster Season 8". Youtube. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  15. ^"Sneak Peek: HallowInk - Video Clips - Ink Master |". Retrieved 2016-05-01.
  16. ^"Ink Master: Redemption Website". Archived from the original on 2015-09-10.
  17. ^"'Ink Master' Renewed for Season 7 by Spike TV; Network Orders Spin-Off 'Ink Master: Redemption'". TV By The Numbers by 2015-05-27. Archived from the original on 2016-02-11. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
  18. ^Petski, Denise (2015-10-14). "'Ink Master: Redemption' Renewed For Season 2 By Spike". Deadline. Retrieved 2016-05-01.
  19. ^""Ink Master: Angels" Spreads Its Wings". 2017-06-05. Retrieved 2017-09-27.
  20. ^"Ryan Ashley Malarkey Dishes About 'Grudge Match' and Moving to Colorado". Female Tattooers. 2019-10-08. Retrieved 2019-11-07.

External links[edit]

Best Tattoos of Season 11 🏆 Ink Master

Ink Master

The Sickest Tattoos Ever on Ink Master

The Sickest Tattoos Ever on Ink Master

The Most Creative Tattoo Cover Ups on Ink Master

The Most Creative Tattoo Cover Ups on Ink Master


Ten of the country's top tattoo artists hope to make a lasting impression on the judging panel in this competition series. Those judges include renowned tattoo artist Chris Nunez, best known for his work on "Miami Ink," veteran artist Oliver Peck and host Dave Navarro, plus a roster of guest judges such as Inked magazine creative director Todd Weinberger and NBA player Chris Andersen. Competing for a $100,000 cash prize and an editorial feature in Inked, the contestants face technical challenges as well as one that tests their creativity, where they must execute an original tattoo on command. And in addition to the judges, the competitors obviously have to satisfy the "human canvases" -- the people on the show who are getting tattooed -- who range from tattoo virgins to those with full sleeves of body art.

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Master seasons ink

Ink Master Season 14 Release Date, Cast, And Trailer - What We Know So Far

It doesn't take long to film and release new episodes of Ink Master, as evidenced from the fact season 12 released its first episode on June 11, 2019, and season 13 debuted not even seven months later on January 7, 2020. Granted, the ongoing public health crisis associated with COVID-19 persists, so it could take a little while longer until executives at Paramount feel comfortable pursuing another season. 

Suffice to say, the earliest audiences could likely expect Ink Master to return with new episodes would be the beginning of 2022. It would actually be a good time to relaunch the series, as it first came out in 2012, so Paramount+ could market the new season as celebrating 10 years of amazing (and sometimes not-so-amazing) tattoos. 

Over the years, Ink Master has also had its share of spin-offs, like Grudge Match and Angels. No word yet on whether any of those will follow suit or if Paramount is waiting to see what the response is to the renewal of the primary series.  

Best of Black \u0026 Gray Tattoos (Part 1) - Ink Master


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