Reality TV competition show Ink Master, which has moved to Paramount+, is currently on its 14th season. It invited all returning competitors, including season 13’s Bob Jones, Angel Rose, and Hiram Casas, as it ended without announcing the winner, for another shot at the title. However, after a few episodes, the Master of Chaos, or previous host Dave Navarro brought back four former winners who eventually agreed to compete again for the historic $250,000 cash prize.
4 former winners return to ‘Ink Master’ Season 14
Following Hiram Casas’s elimination, the remaining artists tested their adaptability skills. Instead of competing in a flash challenge, they only had one assignment.
The contestants were tasked with tattooing going head-to-head against four returning winners, DJ Tambe, Anthony Michaels, Steve Tefft, and Tony Medellin, in their style.
While Katie McGowan, Gian Karle, and Creepy Jason matched the Masters, and Bob Jones beat one, Angel Rose, Holli Marie, and Pon DeMan failed to hold up, landing in the bottom.
The three then had to face off with a freehand tattoo. Before announcing who would leave the competition, the judges asked the former champs if they wanted to return for another shot at the title and prize, and they all agreed.
DJ Tambe is the only artist to win back-to-back seasons
In 2012, Connecticut-based artist Steve Tefft competed in Ink Masters Season 2. He started with a bang, earning top two during the premiere and eventually winning four Best Tattoo of the Days, including one right before the finals.
He defeated Sarah Miller to become the second Ink Master. Four years later, Arizona-based artist Anthony Michaels competed in Ink Masters Season 7 (2016) as a newcomer.
He consistently performed well, winning two Best Tattoo of the Days and only landed in the bottom twice. Anthony then competed in the finals against veteran Cleen Rock One where he pulled out the win.
In 2017, DJ Tambe and Aaron “Bubba” Irwin, representing Arizona-based tattoo shop Old Town Ink competed in Ink Master Season 9. After initially starting in the bottom three, they went on to win Best Tattoo of the Day a couple of times before landing back in the bottom for three consecutive weeks toward the end of the competition.
Steve, Anthony, and DJ competed in ‘Ink Master’ Season 10
Regardless, they advanced to the finals and defeated season 14 artist Katie and Matt O’Baugh, representing Arkansas-based Black Cobra Tattoos, to win.
All three returned for season 10 in 2018 as captains of their own teams who would eventually face off for $100,000. Roly T-Rex (Team Steve) finished third in the competition, with Juan Salgado (Team Anthony) placing second. Team DJ’s Josh Payne was declared the winner.
DJ also won the Master Face-Off, becoming the first and only artist to win back-to-back seasons, with Anthony finishing as runner-up.
For Ink Master Season 11 (2018), veterans Christian Buckingham and Cleen Rock One returned as coaches. Nevada-based artist Tony Medellin (Team Cleen) pulled out the win. Ink Master airs Wednesdays on Paramount+.