MTV's latest series, "Just Tattoo Of Us" gives couples the unique experience to design tattoos for each other. The only catch is, the other person has no idea what the design is until it's completely inked onto their body.
After making names for themselves on "Geordie Shore" and "Ex on the Beach" respectively, the show's hosts Charlotte Crosby and Stephen Bear spoke to Huffington Post Australia about the series, and stepping into the new role of hosts.
"It was hard," Charlotte said of the shift, "but so much better because we've now got a profession, we've added a new string to our bow, and can be respected because we're not in the TV world, especially back home."
"I didn't take it too seriously to begin with," Bear explained, "and then when I got on the set I realised it was a big show. But every day was so much fun, it felt like you weren't at work." The pair said often, days could run up to 22 hours.
The first episode of the series aired on MTV in early April, and there's no preparing for some of the tattoo reveals. The pairs, which can be anything from friends, relatives or couples, pick surprisingly shocking tatts to ink on their partner. Some jaw-droppingly bad.
In episode one two cousins, Sophie and Lauren, designed tattoos for each other. During the reveal, Lauren was confronted by an angry looking gorilla on her upper-thigh. She bawled. It was then her cousin Sophie's turn to see what Lauren had designed for her. On her butt cheek was a large stamp made to look like a branding iron that simply said "SL*T". "That's quite good," Sophie laughed, "I don't care, I'll do anything for a laugh." It was the kind of Gothic horror like something out of Edgar Allen Poe.
"That's the most shocking thing," Charlotte said, "tattoos we thought, 'this is going to go off, they are going to absolutely kick off' didn't. It's the ones that weren't so bad that people got upset about."
"I can't believe she cried about a gorilla on her leg," Bear added. "No, it was awful. It was so awful," Charlotte assured him.
Where you might imagine going on the show and receiving a meaningful tattoo from your friend or loved one, "Just Tattoo Of Us" makes you wear your sins as permanent badges of honour, as a dedication from the ones closest to you.
As Bear explained, "It didn't really surprise me. If you're going to stitch your friend up, you're going to give them the worst tattoo possible. There are some people on there who haven't had tattoos before, going on the show and letting friends design their first ones. It's crazy, but I reckon it's for a bit of TV exposure."
The hosts imagined the extreme results of the show would turn viewers away. "I thought no one would want to do it after seeing the show, but the amount of people who have been begging 'get us on the show!' I think, if we get a series two, we'll see even worse."
The first episode alone saw one woman get a tattoo of a g-string on her lower back, while her friend received a tattoo of Bear's face on his back. "Lucky fella," Bear commented. But it wasn't all laughs for the hosts, with one participant getting fed up mid-tatt.
"Someone was so angry, they got wound up so much that they stormed out and threatened to smash my car up. One of the producers had to get my keys and move it," Bear said. "We had to persuade him to come back for the reveal."
That wasn't the only blow-up on set, with Bear and Charlotte participating in the series themselves. "There were meant to be seven episodes, but because of what we had done for each other, they made an eighth episode out of it," he said. Apparently the tattoos didn't go down that well. "Charlotte threw a bin," Bear revealed. "It wasn't just a bin. That's only the five second clip. It went on a bit. The design is beautiful," Charlotte explained, "but the story behind it is bad. It's not something you want everyone around the world to know."
The two aren't strangers to tattoos, both getting their first ones in Australia, Charlotte a symbol for love, power and peace on her wrist when she was 23, and Bear the word "Midas" on the side of his hand when he was 19. Recently they both tattooed matching fish symbols on each other, and so far there have been no ink regrets.
"I really like all my tattoos," Charlotte said, "they're not in places you can see except for my little fish and the one on my wrist. It's not like I've got a huge penis up my arm."
"Not yet," Bear said confidently, "that's season two."
"Just Tattoo of Us" airs Tuesdays on MTV.
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