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Baton Rouge tattoo artist 'Money' Mike Thornton is still smiling as he enters the third week of reality series 'Ink Master' on Paramount. Thornton works at The Code Fine Art Gallery & Tattoo studio in Baton Rouge.

Despite his snake tattoo being dissed as unappealing, Baton Rouge artist 'Money' Mike Thornton has survived another week on the Paramount reality series "Ink Master."

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"You do one style belly beneath the compass (rose) and you do one style belly above," judge Chris Nuñez said. "What this tattoo suffers from the most is going to be this anatomy."

In the end however, it was Baltimore, Maryland artist Emac's compass rose design incorporating a ship that sent him sailing out of the competition last week.

Dividing into regions for this season's competition, Thornton and the rest of Team South dominated the episode's first, back-to-the-basics challenge — to design a masterpiece on the side of a 45-foot tour bus using only postcards.

"Hell no, this is not 'Postcard Master,' this is 'Ink Master.' Man, you trippin,'" Thornton said jokingly at the announcement of the task, designed to show the contestants' mastery of line and color.

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Stacks of thousands of postcards of each state were their "ink" and the bus was their "canvas."

"Using the wheels to turn this into a stretch limo, ingenious," Nuñez said of the South's design.

With the limo in the foreground, the South's scene also included a sunset, water and palm trees.

The team's prize was the opportunity to assign all the human canvases in the elimination tattoo, giving them the advantage of focusing on each contestant's weaknesses with their choices.

"Ink Master" returns at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

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