♪ ♪– Hello, New Orleans!
[cheers and applause] Thank you guys
so much for coming out. We have two amazing
artists ready to do some great tattoos for you guys.
[cheers and applause] – On this side, we have
New Orleans’ own Tai Viper! [cheers and applause]
– [howls] – And on this side,
from “Ink Master” season eight, our very own Nikki Simpson!
[cheers and applause] At the end of this tattoo,
we’re going to need all of your help to determine
the winner of this face-off. Each of you guys gets to vote on which tattoo
you think is best. You guys down to help us?
[cheers and applause] – All right.
Tai, are you ready? – Born ready, baby.
[cheers and applause] – Nikki, are you ready?
– Hell yeah, I’m ready. – All right, you guys
have six hours to tattoo. And your time starts now. [cheers and applause]♪ ♪– We in business, Mama.
– Looking good.– I’m attempting
to do portraits again.Am I nervous? No.Do I think
I’m going to lose? No. Breathe in and breathe out.I have wanted to competefor the title of Ink Master
since season one.It’s about the title
and bragging rights,and I’m a cocky mother[bleep]. – So do you know what the other
person’s drawing, or no? – Yep. I saw it, and it’s
not as creative as ours is. – This is very creative. – I had to make
it special for you. We ain’t worried about her. – Are you ready?
– I guess so.I have no doubt
that I’m gonna crush Tai.This is my style.All I have to do is do
my tattoos the way I would any other day,
and I’m gonna kill it. – I’m pretty surprised
at Tai calling out Nikki. I think it’s
a really ballsy move. – Yeah. Definitely.
His design–there’s a lot
of elements going on.It can get muddied up
if he doesn’t setthe contrast just right.– He’s got to make sure hedoesn’t get lost
in all those little details. – True.
– But Nikki’s piece–it’s a beautiful design,
but if allthose lines aren’t, like,
perfectly crisp and straight–– There’s no hiding a mistake.– Nikki’s super talented,
but that might put her in some trouble. – You are down to four hours. You have four hours left! – So, where did you
get your Viper name from? – Clients were, like,
“You’re, like, the nicest asshole,”
and I’m like, “Just like a snake.” Pick
them up, pet them, hold them. Stop dealing with them,
bite the [bleep] out you. – [laughs] – I feel like we’re seeing
Tai’s strongest tattoo by far.– I absolutely agree.That design is really cool.The tree bark
texture is a serious trick.The one thing that Nikki has on
Tai is immediate readability. It looks like it was
printed out by a computer. – But the tricky thing
is she has a lot of very tiny,intricate things
that she has to get done.– Nikki has to render a big
tattoo in black and gray andand then saturate
the entire insideof the lantern with color.– This is the first time that I have ever felt concerned
about Nikki finishing on time. – Hopefully she pulls it off and doesn’t freak
out at the last minute.