‘Ink Master’ Crowns First Woman, Dubbed A ‘Wild Card’ By Dave Navarro

After eight seasons, Spike TV’s Ink Master has named its first female winner and everyone seems to agree that Ryan Ashley Malarkey’s win was well deserved with host and Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro singing her praises on last night’s Ink Master season finale. For the last competition, Ms. Malarkey competed against fellow Ink Master finalists Gian Karle Cruz and Kelly Doty, before wowing judges and impressing Navarro with her artistic tattooing skills. In a social climate screaming for change in the ways in which women are treated in their professional aspirations, Ryan Ashley’s win has been seen as a positive step forward for the Spike TV network and for Ink Master.

Ink Master Names Ryan Ashley Malarkey Their First Female Winner

Mic reports that Ms. Malarkey might have had a different experience if her original plans to join Ink Master as a cast member had worked out. Luckily for Ryan Ashley and her fans, that didn’t pan out, making her eligible to compete as a contestant and to ultimately win the prestigious Ink Master title. The tattoo artist has had a complicated past with Ink Master, having been placed on a waiting list for a previous season as well, which makes Ryan Ashley’s win that much more impressive.

“Sometimes we have artists who are waiting in the wings because it’s not the right timing in their lives to leave for a couple months,” said Ink Master boss Andrea Richter.

Part of the reason for the delays in getting Malarkey on Ink Master revolved around the businesses she owns with fiance Josh Balz, The Strange and Unusual Oddities Parlor shops. There are two locations in Philadelphia and in Kingston, Pennsylvania, with Ryan Ashley running the stores and tattooing clients for 50-60 hours a week.

“My life is very crazy…. It’s hard for me to pick up and leave for two months and leave everything in the hands of people that we trust because we’re so passionate about our businesses,” said Ms. Malarkey.

Malarkey’s patience was rewarded and she finally made her Ink Master debut in Season 8. The tattoo artist feels that she just had to wait for the right time, so she never felt like she was sacrificing anything by delaying her Ink Master appearance.

“Everything happened for a reason and I’m so, so thankful that I waited for this season because I couldn’t feel more honored to be a part of the cast that we had in season eight,” says Ryan Ashley.

Ryan Ashley Malarkey Made Her Ink Master Mark

Ms. Malarkey left Ink Master with a bundle of prizes and the winning title, but, more importantly, she earned the admiration of Ink Master host Dave Navarro and the show’s judges through her tattooing talents, according to Entertainment Weekly. Taking the Ink Master title means Ryan Ashley will walk off the show with $100,000 in cash, be featured in an Inked article, receive a brand new Dodge Charger, and be offered a guest spot at Oliver Peck’s Elm Street Tattoo.

That’s a nice bundle of prizes for the Ink Master winner and it’s earned in a competition that starts out with 30 tattoo artists. For the finale, Malarkey competed against the two other remaining challengers, who were all tasked with completing a chest piece tattoo.

While fans voted to select the top two finalists, it was up to the Ink Master judges to choose the ultimate winner. Host Dave Navarro joined professional tattoo artists Chris Nunez (Hand Crafted Tattoo) and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo) in selecting Ryan Ashley as the winner.

“In terms of just being an overall dynamic piece that just has that wild factor, I’m going with Ryan,” Navarro said of Malarkey’s work, as he announced that she had won the Ink Master title.

[Featured Image by Spike TV]

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