– Pittsburgh is the steel city,
girls, so hopefully
these artists are as tough as this place’s reputation. – Yeah, this place
is known for bridges. Maybe this’ll be someone’s
bridge to “Ink Master.” – Ooh![upbeat music]♪ ♪– Ooh! – Hey.
– Hi. – Rachel?
– Hi. Yes. Rachel. – Hi. Oh, my gosh.
– Thanks for coming. – Look at this place.
– Thank you. – This is great.
– This is my place. It’s Pyramid Tattoo.I’m Rachel Helmich, and I have
been tattooing for 16 years.I specialize in
not specializing.My mood changes,just like every single client
that walks in.That gives me an advantage,because I feel like
I can do it all. – You own the shop?
– Yeah. Yeah, me and my husband
own this place. He taught me how to tattoo. He’s an old school tattooer. It’s a tattoo family. He taught his sister, and her kids tattoo. My brother tattoos. – Oh, my gosh. – So we all tattoo
here in Pittsburgh. – You’ve really got,
like, tattoos running through your blood. – Yes.
– We’re here in Pittsburgh looking for the best,
and you’re our first stop, but we’ve got two other
competitors that are coming in. – I’m anxious
to see who it is.[upbeat music]– My name’s Nick DeMars.I’ve been tattooing
for seven years.I like to work
with color work, primarily,neo-traditional, new-school,
and realism styles.I try to bend the rules
as much as I canto really push the limits
and bring tattooing into a new chapter. – Hey. – Are you supposed to be
my competition today? – I am.
– No. Who are you? – You must not have
been here long. – Have you been tattooing the
whole time here in Pittsburgh? – Just a little over two years. There was an artist
who I’ve idolized for a number of years.
His shop was hiring, so I decided just
to jump in my car, drive to Pittsburgh. They saw the value in that. They saw how determined I was. So I’m willing to do
what it takes to be the best. – That’s awesome, dude. There is one more artist
on their way here. They’re gonna
be here any minute.[rock music]– I’m Joe Capone.
I’ve been tattooing 16 years.I specialize in realism,
black and gray.If you want to reach out
and touch it,that’s what I’d like
to tattoo on you.Pittsburgh is known
for blue collar, put your face down,
go to work.That’s what I do every day,with every line
I put down on skin.[dramatic music]– [gasps] No!
– Holy– What’s up, sis?
– Are you kidding? – You were the first one
out the womb. You might be
the first one out the room. – Oh, my God. – You know this guy? – This is my brother.
– This is my older sister. – This is my brother. – Well, as far
as family feuds go, I feel like this one is gonna
be absolutely legendary. Do you guys want to hear about how this competition
is gonna go? – Yes.
– Hell yeah. – All right. We are gonna have
two elimination tattoos, and one person is gonna be
eliminated each round. – Whoever wins
in the final round will move on to a head-to-head face-off
against one of us Angels. – Wow. It just got real. – And if you can beat
one of us Angels, you earn a spot
on “Ink Master” season ten. – All right.
– No! That’s a lot bigger
than I thought this was gonna turn into being. – We just entered the playoffs,
people. – Are you guys ready for your
first elimination tattoo? – Yeah. Let’s hear it.
– Yes. – You guys are gonna
have two hours. Any style, any subject matter, but this tattoo must be on the kneecap. – What?
– Kneecap? – I’d rather tattoo
an alligator knuckle. – Placement is key, and also, remember that this is gonna hurt
like a son of a bitch. – Yeah.
– So good luck with that. Today, we will be judging you
on style, shading, outline,
and overall application. – One of you will be eliminated
from the competition, so show us your best. Your canvases
are completely open, and they’ve been randomly
assigned. – This [bleep] is mine. I’m sorry you guys wasted
your whole day. – This is my shop.
You’re in my shop. – Why don’t you guys go ahead
and get set up? – Ladies first.
– All right, thanks. Oh, then by all means,
my dear. – I’ll go first. It’s my shop.
– Get on down the road, sir.[rock music]♪ ♪– Okay. You guys have two hours
to tattoo any style, any subject, on the kneecap.♪ ♪And your time starts…
now. – Go, dude.
– Go. – I’m about to win this thing. – The way the kneecap is shaped can really warp any design
that you put directly on it. – That’s good. You have a
little bit of a wider kneecap.– I want to make surethat they take the location
into account.– All right, straighten your
leg out as best you can, buddy.– But I’m also looking
for them to have bold linesand solid black.That’s what’s gonna hold up
the bestin an area
that moves around so much.– All righty. You ready? – No going back now.♪ ♪– So are you going black
and gray? – Yep. Black and gray
and lots of white. I’m trying to show
that you can still do great, solid detail
on the kneecap that will hold up over time. Imagine my surprise
when my brother walked in. I was very shocked. – You have to win now.
– Yep.♪ ♪So I’m gonna be on
a tattoo competition, trying to win.
– That’s awesome. – I ran one of the number one
tattoo shops in Maui, Hawaii, for 12 years.I moved back here
two years agoand opened up my shop.I’m nervous.
Do you think I’ll do good? – Kick all their butts. – So I feel like
I am starting over. I need to put my name
and my shop on the map here in Pittsburgh. – Good luck.
– Thanks.♪ ♪– So have you peeked in and seen what your brother’s
been working on? – I know
what it’s gonna look like. – Really?
– I know his style.[dramatic music]– Possibly the most important
tattoo of my life here. If you ask about
Joe Capone tattoos,this is what people
would talk about the most:A three-dimensional tattoo
with texture and depthand shadows
and smooth shading,and this is what I need to
bring to the table today.♪ ♪– Do you have any idea
who you’re going against? – Some of the other
top artists in the city. I get to finally prove myself that I belong in the category
of, like, the great 412, Pittsburgh artists. I feel like I’m always chasing
Rachel.She owned a shop first,
she tattooed first,she was born first.But you guys made me believe that I belong in that category, so you guys motivate me
every day. – It looks like you’ve done
a few kneecaps with the way that
you have it positioned. – To max out the stretch.
– Yeah. Smart. – You guys have one hour left. One more hour!♪ ♪– So what style do you think
that you would consider this? – Probably more
neo-traditional. – It looks pretty “neo” to me.– I’m doing a shark jaw with
a vignette of a sailboat.I made this fit the body
naturallyand have a high contrast
and really pop off the skin.♪ ♪Hey, Rylan, you want to slide?
– Letters. – Oh, you’re doing letters,
huh? Letters more fun?
– More letters. – A, B, C…– I work very hard
to provide for my family,because I didn’t have
much of a childhood.My mom had to work so much.I had to become
the man of the houseby the time
I was ten years old.Throw! Yeah! [laughs] Yeah.I want them to see
that working hardand pushing boundaries gets you
the things that you need. Love you.
I love you.♪ ♪– Tell us about your plan here. – I’m gonna use opaques instead of
a conventional black and gray. On a kneecap, the opaques will probably heal up
better in the long run. – So you’re doing
a color tattoo that resembles
a black and gray tattoo. – Yep. – Whatever floats your boat,
right? – Yeah, exactly.♪ ♪– Five, four, three, two, one. That’s it.
Stop tattooing! – You survived.
– I did. – Joe,
who taught you dynamic range? ‘Cause it doesn’t look
like anybody did. – Have you seen your tattoo? It’s the flattest ocean
I’ve ever seen.The work that
Nick did today–that would never happen
in my shop on a normal day.I’ve been doing this
a long time.People with that kind of
attitude and egonever have the work
to back it up. – It’s definitely gonna be me
and you tonight, around. – [laughs]
I agree. – What’s strange to me is that
all three of these tattooers did symmetrical tattoos
for the kneecap. – Yeah.
– ‘Cause no one’s knee is perfectly symmetrical.– Joe’s tattoo–
when she stands up,that bone
is just going, “Rrr.” – Oh, you saw that.– It’s like a completely
different tattoowhen she’s standing versus
when her knee is bent.– What I really loved about
Joe’s tattoois the texture of the horns.I feel like I could
run my hand down the hornand feel all of the bumps.But I wish
he took a few minutesand really saturated
some black.– I don’t know why people
are so afraid of black. – Rachel used a lot of black
in her design.– She did,
but then she pounded whiteinto all that skin tone.– It’s okay.
Let that skin show through.Let it breathe.
It’s a black and gray tattoo. – Rachel’s application
was great, though. – It absolutely was.
– But I’m bored. I want to see some art
out of you, girl. – That’s what’s killing me
about Nick,because he came in
with such an exciting design,but by God, I don’t
understand what is happeningwith that little ship.I don’t know what
those sails are attached to.– Honestly, I couldn’t even
focus in on the ship,because I was so frustrated
with his color blending.Everything is the same
medium-tone solid gray.– We came to Pittsburgh
to be blown away, and whoever makes it past here
needs to know, step it up. – I know damn well
I’m not going home. – But you didn’t even do
a black and gray tattoo. – I’m not afraid
to go out of the box. – But on a knee?
– You didn’t use any black. – Oh, yeah, there was black
in the tattoo. – Oh, the outline,
but that’s it. – There was black in there. – At least I picked something
original. – Okay, guys. Let’s do this.♪ ♪We’re here to find the best, and not everyone has
what it takes to make it to “Ink Master,” which is why we have
a very tough decision. – After a lot of deliberation, we have decided the winner of today’s elimination tattoo
is…♪ ♪Rachel. – Yes. Thank you. Thank you. I won!
Take that, little brother. – We loved the way
that your tattoo fits the body,and the fact that you went in
with solid, saturated blackmeans you know about longevity. – Thank you very much. – Which means, Nick, Joe,
one of you is out. – I’m not going anywhere.
I’m staying here. – I stand behind my tattoo. – Joe, we really loved
the texturethat you managed
to get into the horns,but whenever she’s standing,it’s almost as if
the skull warped to the side.– Nick, you came out the gate
with a really creative design.The problems that we saw
were technical issues.It was a lot
of the same tone of gray,and the blending
wasn’t smooth.♪ ♪– The decision was unanimous. The person that will be
eliminated today is…♪ ♪