In a live finale that was both cutthroat and exciting, Kruseman was named winner of Season 6 of "Ink Master
." Kruseman wins a cash prize of $100,000, a feature article in the premiere tattoo publication Inked
and the ultimate bragging rights title of 'Ink Master.' In addition to these winnings, Kruseman won a brand new Dodge Challenger.
Eighteen of the top tattoo artists from around the country battled it out all season in permanent ink, in various tattoo challenges that not only tested the artists' technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity, with competitors creating and executing original tattoos on "human canvases." This season of "Ink Master" was not just about the rivalries the artists created during the competition; contestants also came with their own personal tattoo rival – their master or apprentice.
Each week's challenges focused on a different tattoo technique and style. After every challenge, the contestants faced a tough panel made up of series host Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction) and judges, renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez ("Miami Ink") and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo).
The final three contestants – Chris Blinston, owner and artist at No Hard Feelings in Coral Springs, FL; Kruseman, owner and artist at Oldeline Tattoo in Hagerstown, MD; and Matt O'Baugh, owner and artist at Black Cobra Tattoos in Sherwood, AR – were each assigned their own master canvas. They were sent back to their home bases to complete a 35-hour back-piece tattoo, where they each had five, seven-hour sessions to create the best tattoo design of their careers.
For the first time in "Ink Master" history, the three finalists also tattooed leading into the live finale in styles that were voted on by the fans via social media. Blinston was assigned color realism, Kruseman was assigned American traditional and O'Baugh was assigned color realism. During the finale, fans were able to vote to determine who completed this challenge the best, with the most votes earning a spot in the top two artists. After thousands of tweets, it was determined that Chris Blinston had the best tattoo of the evening, which secured his spot in the final two and was also awarded $10,000 courtesy of Gildan USA. After the judges reviewed the artwork, Kruseman earned the second spot in the final two.
As Blinston and Kruseman revealed their master canvases to the judges – and America – in the end, Kruseman was named the season 6 winner of "Ink Master."
In addition to Kruseman winning a brand new Dodge Challenger, one lucky fan won the custom-painted Challenger that was designed during the season by contestants Craig Foster, Chris Blinston and Erik Campbell through a fan focused sweepstakes.
In an another exciting twist during the live finale, three lucky fans were given the opportunity to get inked by "Ink Master" alumni Cleen Rock One, Jimi Litwalk and Sarah Miller who were all revealed during the finale as returning veterans for "Ink Master" Season 7. One, Litwalk and Miller will be joined by five other "Ink Master" veterans, as well as eight new contestants who will all go head-to-head in Season 7, premiering in March 2016.
"Ink Master" is once again proving to be a ratings driver for the network; Season 6 is averaging 2.4 million viewers and is on pace to become the series' highest-rated and most-watched season ever. The series is #1 in P18-34 and W18-34 in all of TV, and #1 in P18-49 and #1 in W18-49 in cable in its timeslot (Tuesday's, 10-11pm).
"Ink Master" is produced for Spike by Original Media ("Swamp People," "Comic Book Men," "Dual Survival") with Steven Weinstock, Glenda Hersh and Andrea Richter serving as Executive Producers. Original Media is a subsidiary of Endemol Shine North America.
Sharon Levy is Spike's Executive Vice President, Original Series, Chachi Senior is Senior Vice President of Original Programming for Spike and oversees production of "Ink Master" and Tori Socha serves as the network's Executive in Charge of Production.