Joel Madden Reveals His Favorite Moment From Season 11 of Ink Master

Joel Madden
James Minchin/Paramount+

As both an Ink Master fan and the reality competition series’ current host, Joel Madden admits season 15 will forever hold a special place in his heart — with good reason.

In an exclusive interview with Us Weekly for the Reality Stars of the Year Issue, the Good Charlotte singer, 44, shared an unforgettable moment that went down while filming that became his “favorite part of the season, selfishly.”

“I got tattooed on the show this year. It was a surprise for me, because I’ve always watched the show and wanted to get tattooed, but thinking about getting tattooed in front of everybody … it’s weird,” Madden tells Us. “But when they asked me if I would get involved in that way, I said, yeah.”

Though sitting down with the unnamed artist was “exciting,” Madden admits the experience was “nerve-racking” too. “Getting tattooed is very personal between you and the tattoo artist,” Madden explains, “and you’re in pain while you’re doing it. To do it in front of the cameras was a new experience for me.”

Joel Madden Reveals His Favorite Moment From Season 11 of Ink Master 3

Joel Madden
James Minchin/Paramount+

Though the tattoo he got will be revealed soon enough (no spoilers!), Madden — who estimates he has spent “150 hours” getting tattooed — tells Us the fresh ink has significant meaning to his childhood and siblings. Most importantly, Madden was satisfied with the end result: “I was very happy with the tattoo.”

Getting fresh body art wasn’t the only perk this season for the musician — Madden couldn’t help but become invested watching the contestants give the competition everything they’ve got.

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“Watching these incredibly talented tattoo artists go through this labyrinth of a competition with all these extremely difficult challenges and all these loops they throw at them, you really do have to be a really skilled tattoo artist,” Madden explains. “It keeps you hooked because one week someone could be doing really great, and the next week they get thrown something that they’re just not good at as a tattoo artist and it could take them out of the competition.”

Joel Madden Reveals His Favorite Moment From Season 11 of Ink Master 2

Madden admits dishing out criticism is the most difficult part of his gig. “It’s really hard for me because in my mind, anybody — especially if they’re good enough to be on Ink Master — they’re a good tattoo artist,” he shares. “It’s hard to sit there right to their face and tell them you’re not a fan of this particular tattoo or the choices they made.”

Looking for flaws, however, is the nature of the game. “In a group of good tattoos, we have to find the worst one because at the end of every week, somebody’s going home,” the rocker tells Us. “There are weeks where it’s really hard because [the artists] didn’t do bad work.”

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“It can be emotional, there’s a lot at stake,” Madden continues. “This is a game-changing competition for tattoo artists. They’re emotionally wrapped up in this, and it’s hard to watch that sometimes too.”

Season 15 promises to be a memorable one, says Madden. “If you’re an Ink Master fan, you’re probably going to be meeting some of your new favorite tattoo artists and some real superstars,” he adds. “As an Ink Master fan [myself], I think it’s going to be my favorite season yet.”

For more of Madden’s exclusive interview, pick up Us Weekly‘s Reality Stars of the Year issue, on stands now.

Season 15 of Ink Master returns Wednesday, November 1, on Paramount+.