Horror Challenge Ends with a Hospital Trip and a Vote Off for “Big Daddy” Tray Benham on ‘Ink Master’
The Halloween appropriate episode of Spike TV's 'Ink Master' featured a variety of scary tattoos and locations, but an even scarier scenario when contestant "Big Daddy" Tray Benham went out of the competition on a stretcher.
The competition was fierce this week as the remaining contestants began their flash challenge with a tattoo that had to be done on an unfamiliar location: the mouth. Clint Cummings won out the Flash Challenge increasing his ego to higher than the top of his mohawk. (as if it were possible for his ego to inflate any larger)
Mark and Tatu Baby couldn't stop fighting...someone is always fighting on this show. However, it is usually the pompous Kay Kutta bullying everyone else, but this week he was in the bottom three with his design and lack of ability to meet the challenge's criteria. He is fighting to stay afloat.
In the tattoo challenge, the theme was horror, which was strong suit to Steve, Jessie and Sarah. With the exception of Steve's rotting, detailed skull and Jesse's colorful and properly tentacled monstrosity, however, most of the contestants' inkwork was scary - for all the wrong reasons. Steve took best design execution for the week in his textures and realistic representation, Jessie followed in second place.
Three contestants ranked in the bottom this time: Mark, Kay Kutta, and Tray. Unfortunately, during eliminations, Tray was still in the hospital, and could not represent himself or defend his design. He'll have plenty of time to recover now, but the judges claim that he would have been voted off even before his collapse due to his lack of texture in his design (this episode's theme) for a guy with 21 of experience.
Tray is now the second contestant in this young season of Spike TV's hit reality tattooing competition to have been plagued by health issues. (TJ's slipped discs in his back caused him to drop out of the competition two weeks earlier.)
It's as much the show's pressure as it was Tray's blood pressure that sent him over the edge. --Chris Nunez, judge
"I'm learning all this stuff as I watch it basically with you," Nunez told the News. "Other than the fact that we knew when the producer came out and said this guy has a legitimate medical issue, and he is going to go. We already lost one competitor with a back issue a week or two before, so we were watching these guys drop off like flies." said Nunez. "I've been tattooing for 20 years and I've never had that many health issues. Television is a lot of stress. It's a lot to handle when people point a camera at you and say ready set, go."
"I think it's psychologically taxing on the group as a whole," said Nunez. "And with all that drama and screaming in the house, I'm sure it's not relaxing either."
No word has been given as to Tray's condition or his comments after the elimination.