“Best Ink” pits ten of the best male and female tattoo artists from around the country against one another in this all-new competition. With nothing but their needles, ink, and passion, these artists compete for $100,000 and a cover story in Tattoo magazine. The contestants are guided through the competition by host and recording artist Kimberly Caldwell (“American Idol”). After each challenge, the artists are critiqued by head judge and world-renowned tattoo artist Joe Capobianco, international pinup model and tattoo shop owner Sabina Kelley and a guest judge from a rotating roster. Then one contestant is sent home.
In every episode, the tattoo artists compete in two challenges: the “Flash Challenge,” which tests their overall artistic and creative skills, and the “Ink Challenge,” in which they produce bona fide masterpieces on skin—a permanence rarely seen in the reality competition world. The indelible body art will be created for and on real people in a variety of challenges designed to showcase the artists' talents. Challenges include an “Emotional Life Passage Challenge,” in which the artists are tasked with designing a tattoo commemorating a personal story or life-changing moment, and a “Tribute Tattoo Challenge,” in which the artists must design tribute tattoos for fans of a well-known musical icon. As the stakes get higher and the challenges become more difficult, only one artist will get the ultimate bragging rights to call their work “Best Ink.”