The Heated 'Ink Master: Redemption' Moment Caused By An Infamous Season 5 Tattoo

The popular TV reality show "Ink Master" pits some of America's most well-known tattoo artists against one another. Using only their art skills, the objective is to be crowned "Ink Master." The show premiered on Spike TV, then moved to Paramount Network, and now streams on Paramount+ (via IMDb). Part of the "Ink Master" formula is that an average person must first agree to get the work done by one of the pro tattoo artists on the show. And whenever anyone gets a tattoo, there's a chance they might not like it. For this reason, in 2015 "Ink Master" spawned a spin-off series, "Ink Master: Redemption." 

In that version of the show, those who made a previous appearance in the series and were unhappy with how their tattoo turned out can return to fix what went wrong, per Paramount Network. The twist being, the fix-it work will be done by the same tattoo artist without the returning "tattooee's" knowledge. In "Ink Master" Season 5, Las Vegas tattoo artist, Tim Lees, inked a hula girl tattoo for a man named Jorge Contreras. Contreras didn't like how his tattoo looked and when he returned in "Ink Master: Redemption" Season 1, there was a particularly cringy confrontation.

Lees didn't think much of Contreras, either

In the original "Ink Master" episode in which the ill-fated hula girl tattoo was featured, Tim Lees (pictured) himself expressed some misgivings about working with Jorge Contreras, hurling a series of epithets toward the client. Lees also called Contrareras a "control freak" (via Youtube). It also wasn't just Contreras that didn't like the way his hula girl tattoo looked, a design he said he picked out for his daughter.

"Inked" magazine ranked the Conteras tattoo among the worst ever done on "Ink Master," with one of the ugliest faces "Inked" had ever seen rendered in body art. When asked by "Ink Master: Redemption" host, the musician Dave Navarro, what it was like to have something on your skin that haunts you like a bad tattoo, Contreras replied (via Youtube) "It feels like someone took a piece of your soul." That was also before Contreras learned that Lees, whom he had clearly had issues with, would also attempt the repair work.

Contreras said Lees disrespected him

Once Tim Lees and Jorge Contreras  (pictured) were face-to-face, the fireworks really started to explode (the interaction is posted on Youtube). At that moment, Contreras confronted Lees about the negative things that he said in their first episode together, back in Season 5. Via Youtube, Contreras said Lees disrespected him, to which Lees responded, "Can you be a grown man and accept an apology?" Contreras then shot back, "You questioning my manhood?" — and things only got tenser from there.

In his return trip to the show, Contreras requested a horror-themed zombie tattoo and when presented with the design he said "I don't even know I'm gonna let you put another piece on my skin" but he agreed to let Lees attempt it. He threatened if he still didn't like what he done he'd punch Lees in the mouth. Luckily, Contreras approved. "It's scary looking, it pops," he said, and the original tattoo was no longer visible. Lees and Contreras even hugged it out (via Paramount Network). It all goes to show, bad blood between a tattoo artist and their canvas can sometimes be resolved.