The Circle


The Circle Information

The Circle}}

The Circle (sometimes called The Circle US to differentiate from other international versions) is an American reality competition series, produced by Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group which began airing on Netflix in January 2020 that is based on a British TV series of the same name. Alongside the American version of The Circle, Netflix is also launching different versions in France and Brazil, as part of a partnership between Netflix and All3Media. The series bills itself as a game based around social media, with the concept that "anyone can be anyone in The Circle." It has been compared to Big Brother and Catfish in format, as well as Black Mirror episode "Nosedive" with the concept of ratings.

Within the show, contestants are isolated with their own apartments, and can only communicate to the other contestants via "The Circle", ostensibly a computer program which transcribes their messages into text as if in a social media app. Contestants are thus able to present completely different identities to the others to hopefully win them over. Every so often, the group of contestants are asked to rate their fellow contestants, with the top vote-getters becoming the "influencers" of the Circle, giving them the power to "block" one contestant from the circle, eliminating them from the game.

The first season began airing on January 1, 2020; however, to get more people interested in the show, Netflix released an exclusive cut of the first episode for free on its YouTube channel on December 30, 2019. The first season concluded its run on January 15, 2020 and was hosted by Michelle Buteau. Joey Sasso won the first season of The Circle and the prize that came along with it. Shubham Goel was the runner-up. Sammie Cimarelli won the Fan Favorite award and .

Format

The contestants, or "players", move into the same apartment building. However, the contestants never meet face-to-face during the course of the competition, as they each live in their own individual apartment. They communicate solely using their profiles on a specially-designed social media app that gives them the ability to portray themselves in any way they choose. Players can thus opt to present themselves as a completely different personality to the other players, a tactic otherwise known as catfishing; for example, one male player in the first season presented himself as a female identity, while another female contestant used photos of a woman she felt was more attractive.

Throughout the series, the contestants "rate" one another from first to last place. At the end of the ratings, their average ratings are revealed to one another from highest to lowest. Normally, the two highest-rated players become "influencers", while the remaining players will be at risk of being "blocked" by the influencers. However, occasionally there may be a twist to the blocking process - varying from the lowest rating players being instantly blocked, the identity of the influencers being a secret, or multiple players being blocked at one time. Blocked players are eliminated from the game, but are given the opportunity to meet one player still in the game in-person. Then, the day after a blocking, a video message is shown to the remaining players to reveal if they were real or fake.

During the finale, the contestants rate each other one final time, where the highest rated player wins the game and . Also, fans of The Circle are able to vote for their favorite player. The player that receives the most votes is known as the Fan Favorite and receives .

Players

The first eight players were announced on The Circle's Instagram on December 16, 2019. A total of 13 players were selected from the "20-25 individuals" being cleared to appear on the show, with the remaining people never leaving standby status and not appearing on the show. The five players not announced prior to the show's premiere were revealed as they introduced themselves on-screen during an episode.

Name Age Hometown Playing as Entered Exited Status
Alana Duval 25 Brownsville, Texas Herself Episode 1 Episode 1 Blocked
Antonio DePna 24 Bear, Delaware Himself, but single Episode 1 Episode 4 Blocked
Karyn Blanco 37 The Bronx, New York "Mercedeze", a slimmer and bisexual 27-year-old Episode 1 Episode 6 Blocked
Miranda Bissonnette 26 South Lake Tahoe, California Herself Episode 2 Episode 8 Blocked
Bill Cranley 27 Chicago, Illinois Himself Episode 6 Episode 9 Blocked
Alex Lake 32 Los Angeles, California "Adam", a sexy 27-year-old Episode 4 Episode 9 Blocked
Sean Taylor 25 New York City, New York Herself, but slimmer (Episodes 6-9)
Herself (Episodes 9-10)
Episode 6 Blocked
Ed Eason 23 Conshohocken, Pennsylvania Mother and son playing jointly as 26-year-old "Ed" Episode 8 Blocked
Tammy Eason 52
Seaburn Williams 29 Boston, Massachusetts "Rebecca", his 26-year-old girlfriend Episode 1
Chris Sapphire 30 Dallas, Texas Himself Episode 1
Samantha "Sammie" Cimarelli 24 Miami, Florida Herself, but single Episode 1
Shubham Goel 23 Danville, California Himself Episode 1
Joey Sasso 25 Rochester, New York Himself Episode 1 ' Winner

Episodes

On December 29, 2019, The New York Times published an article describing the background and inside of the show. It was revealed that twelve episodes would be airing from January 1 to January 15 with four episodes being released every Wednesday as part of the "three week event." On December 30, 2019, Netflix released a shortened exclusive cut of the first episode on their YouTube channel as a preview to the series. </ref>| airdate=20| airdateR = | episodes=

| ShortSummary = The first eight players entered the apartment building and created their profiles. Then, an alert told the players that they can now look at the other players' profiles. Immediately, the players had to rate the others on from first to seventh. The Circle Chat then opened, allowing players to contact each other for the first time.

  • Game ("Ice Breaker"): Players had to answer multiple choice questions regarding serious and non-serious questions. Then, after everyone answered the question, their choices were revelaed to everyone. The players then had a time to discuss the question and what their answers were.
The next day, after several players had started getting to know each other, the ratings were revealed. Sammie and Antonio placed first and second respectively, making them the first Influencers. Sammie and Antonio had to immediately head to the Hangout to determine which of the other players should be blocked from The Circle. They decided to block Alana. Alana made her way to meet one of the players face-to-face. | LineColor = 6AE3EC }}

| ShortSummary = Alana visited Sammie's apartment because she thought they were close, but Sammie eventually ended up blocking her. Sammie told her that she was sounding fake and not like a professional model should. The next day, The Circle sends a video message from Alana to the players so they can know if she is real or not. After finding out that Alana was real, Antonio reveals to Joey that he feels guilty for sending Alana home over Karyn.

  • Game ("Who Dis?"): One at a time, one player was shown a picture of a celebrity. That player then had to describe the celebrity to the other players. If the other players were able to guess which celebrity they were describing, they earned a prize. Since everyone got them correct, they earned a party that night and were able to add another photo to their profiles.
During the party, a new player, Miranda, joined The Circle and created her profile. After she made her profile, she was able to watch the ongoing conversation on The Circle Chat. Then she had to choose one player to send a gift to and have a private chat with. | LineColor = 6AE3EC }}

| ShortSummary = Miranda chose Karyn as she wanted to know her more and thought that they would connect. All other players were "buffered" until the morning, meaning they could not access The Circle at all. The next day, ratings opened, with the caveat that Miranda could not rate or be rated since she is the new player. Once the ratings were all complete, The Circle had the players play a new game.

  • Game ("Ask Me Anything"): One at a time, one player would become anonymous and could ask one player a question in The Circle Chat. That player then had to answer for the whole group to see.
The ratings were revealed, and the top two players, who were tied for first place and became Influencers, were Chris and Shubham. | LineColor = 6AE3EC }}

| ShortSummary = Chris and Shubham had to immediately make their way to the Hangout, where they had to decide which of the remaining players, except for Miranda who is exempt, to block. They decided to block Antonio since neither of them had gotten to know him well. Antonio decided to visit Karyn's apartment, when he realized that she was a catfish. The next day, The Circle sends a video message from Antonio to the players so they can know if he is real or not.

  • Game ("Nailed It / Failed It"): Players had thirty minutes to recreate a cake they were shown from scratch. Then, the players voted on which cake looked the best. The cake that earned the most likes earned a special prize. Miranda won and posted a video to her profile. This game was based on fellow Netflix series Nailed It!.
Alex then entered The Circle as a catfish named "Adam". | LineColor = 6AE3EC }}

| ShortSummary = Alex was given the ability to go on a dinner date with one of the players. In order to help with his decision, he was able to chat with three players of his choosing. He chose Karyn, Seaburn, and Sammie. Alex decided to go on a dinner date with Seaburn. He also gave him a giant teddy bear after The Circle prompted him to send her something for their date. The players then had to rate each other from first to last.

  • Game ("Hashtag This"): Each player gets to post a new photo to their profile. Then, everyone gave a hashtag that matches with the photo.
During the game, many of the players accused Karyn of caftishing. | LineColor = 6AE3EC }}

| ShortSummary = The ratings were revealed, and the players who came in first or second, Shubham and Sammie respectively, became Influencers. Shubham and Sammie decided to block Karyn. She visited Chris's apartment, revealing she was a catfish. During the video the next day, it was revealed to everyone that she was a catfish. Bill and Sean made their way into The Circle. | LineColor = 6AE3EC }}

| ShortSummary = Bill and Sean make their profiles, with Sean using different photos that are not of herself.

  • Game ("Trivia Night"): The two new players, Bill and Sean, became team captains and picked their teams. On Bill's team was Chris, Seaburn, and Shubham. On Sean's team was Sammie, Joey, Alex, and. Miranda. After Sean's team won, they got video messages from their families.
Soon after, the players had to rate each other from first to worst. The Influencers this round, who got first and second place, were Joey and Shubham respectively. The Influencers arrived at the Hangout, but, in a twist, they were not allowed to discuss on whom to block. Instead, each Influencer was able to save two At Risk players. The player who was not saved was blocked. | LineColor = 6AE3EC }}

| ShortSummary = In this order, Sammie, Seaburn, Chris, and Alex were saved, meaning Miranda was blocked. She decided to visit Joey's apartment, where they shared a kiss. Overnight, a new player, Ed, accompanied by his mom, Tammy, entered The Circle, playing as "Ed."

  • Game ("Portrait Mode"): Each player was given art supplies, a canvas, and a photo of one player to paint however they wanted. Then, after thirty minutes, their completed paintings were shared on The Circle.
Sean, who started to feel bad about using photos that weren't hers, had her emotions intensified by the game. She created a group chat with Chris, Sammie, and Seaburn, the people she felt like she trusted, and told them that she was not using her own photos. She then prompted The Circle to send them a picture of herself. | LineColor = 6AE3EC }}

| ShortSummary = Sean sends a real photo of her to Chris, Sammie, and Seaburn, and tells them that everything that she has said has been 100% true. Soon after, the players, other than Ed, had to rate each other from first to seventh. Immediately, the ratings were revealed. The player who was rated the least popular will be going home. After Bill was blocked, the two highest rated players, Seaburn and Shubham, had to head to the Hangout and block another player. They decided to send Alex home. Bill was not given a chance to visit anyone face-to-face, but Alex went to Seaburn's apartment, where they both found out they were catfishes.

The next day, Sean changed all of the pictures on her profile to her real photos. Then, Bill and Alex's videos were sent to the players, where they figured out that Alex was a catfish. | LineColor = 6AE3EC }}

| ShortSummary = *Game ("State Your Case"): All the players had to state their case as to why they should win The Circle over their biggest rival. After they stated their case, their "rival" was able to make one response statement. The players then had to rate each other from first to sixth. Then, the players were told that the ratings would not be published. The player who was ranked first became the "superinfluencer" and made the sole decision on whom to block. Joey, who became the superinfluencer, had to visit the apartment of the player he wanted to block. He visited Sean's apartment, meaning she was blocked. Sean's video was sent to the players. | LineColor = 6AE3EC }}

| ShortSummary = *Game ("Most Likely"): Players were given a "most likely" statement, which players would have to answer with one player's name that they think would fit the statement best. The answers were all sent to The Circle Chat, so no one's answers could be hidden. The players then had to rate each other from first to fifth as the final rating. However, what the players weren't told is that the player who received the lowest rating would be immediately blocked after the ratings. Ed & Tammy were rated the lowest, meaning they were blocked. They visited Sammie's apartment. Each of the remaining players who had not previously received a message from home, Chris, Seaburn, and Shubham, got one.

The players, as part of finale night, all went to one room to meet each other face-to-face for the first time during the whole game. Shubham entered the room and Seaburn made his way to the room. | LineColor = 6AE3EC }}

| ShortSummary = Seaburn entered the room, revealing he was a catfish to Shubham. Then, all the other players entered and found out Seaburn was a catfish. At finale night, Michelle Buteau talked with the blocked players before revealing the final ratings. Joey Sasso placed first and became the winner of The Circle. Shubham got second place, Sammie got third place, Chris got fourth place, and Seaburn got fifth place. | LineColor = 6AE3EC }} }}

Background

Concept

Tim Harcourt is the creative director of Studio Lambert, which produces the British and American versions of the show. Harcourt wondered what a reality show would look like if the people never met face-to-face. He had also been considering the idea of a bird's-eye view-style documentary of an apartment building, seeing into each of their lives. He began to work on The Circle after hearing that Channel 4 was looking for a reality-show format centered on social media.

Development

The British version of the show premiered in 2018, and was renewed for its second season a few months after the first season ended. After the first season was Channel 4's "youngest profiling" show in six years, according to the British TV industry magazine Broadcast, talks began of international versions. On October 8, 2018, Netflix announced its partnership with All3Media to create three international versions of The Circle on Netflix, including the American version. Brandon Reigg, Netflix's Vice Principal of Unscripted Content, stated, "We think the show's combination of modern social media interaction and competition will captivate Netflix members around the world, in multiple languages, and we're delighted to partner with Studio Lambert and Motion to produce these three new local versions."

Production

Casting

In an interview with Variety, Tim Harcourt, one of the executive producers for Studio Lambert, stated that The Circle format and premise allowed the casting team to search for all different kinds of people. He noted how the casting contrasted from casts on show like Real Housewives or Jersey Shore and how those shows are "all one gang of quite similar characters." He explained how there was no set cast for the show until it was over. The first eight players to enter were all predetermined and planned, but everything after that was all luck to whoever got on. Harcourt stated that the production team would decide who would be the right fit depending on who just left the game, acknowledging that with thirteen contestants, not all who were possible players end up on the show at all.

The Circle app

Each apartment that the players live in is plastered with screens in every room in order for the players be able to hold conversations with other players as they go about their everyday lives. Each player starts out the game by creating a profile. This includes sharing their age, relationship status, a short bio, and one photo to use as their profile picture. Everyday, the players are allowed to share a status update, explaining their thoughts for the day. Sometimes, either through rewards or passing a certain milestone, the players are allowed to upload another photo to their profile. However, the main purpose of The Circle is to be the only way players can communicate with each other.

At several points during the game, usually every episode, The Circle has the players play a minigame so that they can get to know their fellow players better. Tim Harcourt of Studio Lambert says that "some games were really good for bonding them, some were really good for them learning about each other, some were good for testing who's a catfish, some could have been more divisive."

At certain points during the show, there would be a rating. Players would have to rate each other from first to last by using The Circle and announcing the players they want in each placement. Then, The Circle would average all the placements for each players and create an average for each player. Depending on how high or low their average placement was, the player's ranking would determine if they became in influencer or not. An influencer is usually the two people who get first and second place at the ratings. The influencers would head to the hangout and discuss over The Circle which person to block.

Filming

In October 2019, it was reported that filming was completed. All filming was done in August 2019 before the British version's second season in September 2019, and was completed in fifteen days. It was also reported that the American version was filmed in Salford, England, using the same apartment building that was used in the second season of the British version. Attempts to obscure the filming location to appear to be in the United States were apparent, including overhead shots of the cities of Chicago and Milwaukee throughout the show, as well as aerial shots of England reversed so the cars appear to be driving on the right side of the road.

According to participant Joey Sasso, filming of the show took about a month. The contestants' apartments were brightly-lit in part to allow the cameras to record them, but also to disorientate the players"?s perception of time; Sasso stated that they often had no idea what day or time of day it was, and he had to take to wearing sunglasses inside to cut off the glare from the lights which had been mistaken as a fashion statement by fans of the show. The contestants were given a few minutes each day to spend on the apartment complex's rooftop space.

Apartment building

As was the same for all versions of The Circle, the first season of The Circle US was shot entirely in an apartment building in Salford, England. The apartment building is always prepared with twelve furnished and ready-to-use apartments for the players to live in. The building also has an exercise room and a rooftop lounge, which are also outfitted with cameras and television screens. One room in the building, called "the testimonial room," is the room players go to after they are blocked to create their goodbye video to the remaining players. On the outside of the building is a large, lit up circle made of a roughly 82-foot (25-meter) diameter aluminum track with LED lights strung through and around the circle.

Opposite the apartment building was the control room, which was previously a college campus that became disused. At any time in the control room, there were between twenty and thirty producers and camera operators working, recording, and sending all the messages from the Circle.

Release

On December 10, 2019, a trailer for the American version was released, revealing the premiere date to be January 1, 2020, and the prize amount to be $100,000. On December 29, it was revealed by The New York Times that twelve episodes would be airing from January 1 to January 15 with four episodes being released every Wednesday as part of the "three week event." On December 30, 2019, in order to get more people interested in The Circle, Netflix released a thirty-minute cut of the hour-long first episode of the season on its YouTube channel for free. Then, starting on January 1 and lasting until January 15, Netflix dropped four episodes each week on Wednesday. All episodes were able to be watched in English, German, French, Italian, and English audio description. Subtitles were available in English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Spanish, and French.

Fan Favorite vote

On January 8, 2020, via Twitter and Instagram, The Circle revealed that voting had opened for the Fan Favorite award. The player who had received the most votes would win $10,000. Voting opened at midnight on January 8, 2020, PST, and lasted until midnight on January 17 PST. The winner was revealed to be Sammie Cimarelli on The Circle's Instagram on January 17 at 10 a.m. PST or 1 p.m. EST.

Results and elimination

Color Key
       This player was blocked.
       This player was an influencer.
       This player was immune from being rated and blocked.
Episode 1 Episode 3 Episode 5 Episode 7 Episode 9 Episode 10 Episode 11 Episode 12
Final
Joey 4th =5th =4th 1st 4th Not
published
1st Winner
Shubham 8th =1st 1st 2nd 2nd Not
published
2nd Runner-up
(Episode 12)
Sammie 1st =5th 2nd =4th 5th Not
published
3rd Third place
(Episode 12)
Chris 5th =1st =4th =4th 3rd Not
published
4th
(Episode 12)
Seaburn
"Rebecca"
6th 3rd 3rd 3rd 1st Not
published
5th Fifth place
(Episode 12)
Ed & Tammy
"Ed"
Not in
The Circle
Exempt Not
published
6th Blocked
(Episode 11)
Sean Not in
The Circle
Exempt 6th Not
published
Blocked
(Episode 10)
Alex
"Adam"
Not in
The Circle
Exempt 6th 7th Blocked
(Episode 9)
Bill Not in
The Circle
Exempt 8th Blocked
(Episode 9)
Miranda Not in
The Circle
Exempt 6th 7th Blocked
(Episode 8)
Karyn
"Mercedeze"
7th 4th 7th Blocked
(Episode 6)
Antonio 2nd 7th Blocked
(Episode 4)
Alana 3rd Blocked
(Episode 1)
Notes none 1 2 3 4
Influencers Antonio,
Sammie
Chris,
Shubham
Sammie,
Shubham
Joey,
Shubham
Seaburn,
Shubham
Joey none
Blocked Alana
Influencers'
choice to block
Antonio
Influencers'
choice to block
Karyn
"Mercedeze"

Influencers'
choice to block
Miranda
Influencers'
choice to not save
Bill
Lowest
rated player
Sean
Superinfluencer's
choice to block
Ed & Tammy
"Ed"

Lowest
rated player
Seaburn
"Rebecca"

Lowest
rated player
Chris
Fourth highest
rated player
Alex
"Adam"

Influencers'
choice to block
Sammie
Third highest
rated player
Shubham
Second highest
rated player
Joey
Highest
rated player



This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_Circle_%28American_TV_series%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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