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The Telefile
<I>Best Ink</I>: Will This Be a Stain on Oxygen’s Permanent Record?

Did you watch Ink Masters on Spike? If so, skip this watered-down version as Best Ink is an almost identical series, but more brightly colored. That said, if you like your tattoo shows to be clean cut and refer to the people possibly saddled with a sucky tattoo for life as "skins" instead of "human canvases," then this might be for you.

Given the amount of tattoos that are on the collective cast members of Bad Girls Club, I expected more than this -- it's just so generic. Even Hair Battle Spectacular comes across as edgier. The Best Ink set-up mimics Ink Master, with a flash challenge that doesn't involve an actual person, and then a subsequent main challenge on a "skin." And each artist has their own little room that acts as their shop. But here, there's peppier music.

They've got Kimberly Caldwell hosting the show, and to have the former American Idol contestant at the helm makes it all the more ridiculous. To say she's no Dave Navarro is the understatement of the decade. She introduced herself to the contestants and giggled while telling them that she's "business in the front and a party in the back." What she means by that is that while she looks tattoo-free, on her back she has two of the smallest tattoos I've ever seen in my life. In her mind, that apparently makes her qualified.

As for the contestants, they seem particularly green. While some have been working for a decade, others seem like they just learned how to put needle to flesh. That's not the kind of person I want placing a permanent memento on my skin. In the first episode, they were tasked with doing cover-ups for old sucky tattoos, and some of the new images might make someone reconsider getting rid of that ancient tramp stamp from spring break.

To be fair, Best Ink is not an outright terrible show, and if there weren't another series available that offered the same thing, I'd probably watch it. But now that I have Ink Master, I have no need for this. And I'm not sure that pushing the start date (it was originally scheduled to debut in January, around when Ink Master began) made much of a difference. I presume it was because they didn't want to go head-to-head against a similar series, but this one suffers in comparison after watching the full run of Spike's show. We will give them some credit for running commercials during the Ink Master finale -- if nothing else, it will get some curious folks who can't get enough of tattoo shows to tune in for a look. I'd just rather watch reruns of Jerseylicious.

Would this competition be more entertaining if the people didn't actually want tattoos? Vlogger Sean Crespo lets it get under his skin in this video:

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