The Circle 2020 – "I Have No Regrets"

Only four episodes remained for Netflix’s three-week event of The Circle. And with nine players still in the mix, it was going to be a culling until we reached the final one.

SPOILER ALERT! Everything below spoils the cast, the format, and the events of the final four episodes of The Circle. Like, MAJOR spoilers.

FINALE BREAKDOWN

I wanna break down the events of final four episodes, just so we can gather an understanding of what happened, who left when, why they left, and who won of course.

EPISODE 9: Sean reveals to everyone she wasn’t who she said she was. Ed and Tammy, as newcomers, are exempt from the ratings. But there’s a twist the players don’t know about, whoever comes last (8th) in the ratings is immediately blocked from The Circle, and thus out of the game. The rating results are through and Shubham learns, for the fourth time in a row, he’s a part of the influencer crew. Also, for the first time escaping 3rd place, Rebecca aka Seaburn makes it into the top two spot. Meanwhile, on the other end, Bill finds out he came in last of the ratings for his honesty and lack of social connections, seeing him immediately blocked from The Circle. Rebecca and Shubham discuss who they should block, and as they agree to keep the original five intact, Alex/Adam is blocked. Bill doesn’t get to meet anyone after his blocking, but Alex visits Seaburn, where they both exchange niceties at being catfishes.

EPISODE 10: Rebecca is called out at coming across as too fake, dishonest, and possibly a catfish during a game, one that saw Ed really lead the charge to her not being truthful. Joey, Sammie and Chris agree with the sentiment, and it looks like Rebecca’s days are numbered. When the final seven lock in their ratings, instead of two influencers, a secret superinfluencer will be decided who will make the sole decision to block another player, and they gotta do it face to face. Joey learns he’s in the top spot, and rather than taking a shot against Rebecca/Seaburn, he also keeps the original five locked as one and decides to send Sean home, something she takes quite harshly when she rated him as number one earlier.

EPISODE 11: The final six bond together after Sean’s blocking and then learn they will make their final ratings which will decide who wins and who loses The Circle. Shocked to see that the finale day is coming to an end, it’s all strategy (probably not) and love to see who will take out the top spot and $100,000. After the ratings are complete, the top five will move on to see finale night while sixth place will become the final blocked player of The Circle. It is then revealed that the final intruder, Ed (and Tammy), are the blocked players. Cementing that unless you started the game on Day 1, you had no hope. Ed and Tammy visit Sammie after they’re blocked, who’s extremely surprised she had been talking and flirting with not only Ed, but his mother too. In the end, it’s Chris, Shubham, Sammie, Joey, and Rebecca/Seaburn who are the final five.

EPISODE 12: The final episode of The Circle sees the final five meet face to face at a round table, and join the rest of the cast for a glam filled finale night. Flashbacks, call backs to past moments, and chats and sit downs with the finalists all take place, before it’s time to reveal who ultimately won The Circle. As the five stand together, hands clasped together, in fifth place…. Seaburn (Rebecca)! Leaving four genuine people left to take the title. In fourth place… Chris! Oh Chris. I loved Chris. In third place… Sammie! Another person I loved. Keeping it down to Joey and Shubham. One was an influencer 4/6 times. The other was the final and sole influencer. Both otherwise seem to have a good case to justify their win. In the end, the winner is revealed to be… Joey! Joey has won The Circle while Shubham is the Runner-Up and oh so close to the victory.

The winner of the first American season of The Circle, Joey Sasso, jumps for joy amongst the rest of the cast after achieving the impressive and difficult feat.
IMAGE: NETFLIX

POST SHOW: While the show was airing, viewers voted for their favourite player to win $10,000 and be deemed the fan-favourite of The Circle. While the full results have not been released, the winner was crowned as Sammie, who I think rightfully deserves to take home the cash after an impressive performance all season long. Although, Chris winning would have been just as awesome too.

REVIEW

I am very happy with Joey winning. Like a lot of people, initially I wasn’t too fond of Joey. But by about the last episode of Week 1, he was growing on me, and I was definitely rooting for his win in the finale. I figured Ed and Tammy weren’t going to win as newcomers, and with Seaburn’s latest controversy, I thought he was out. I also concluded that Sammie and Chris were too distant from everyone to place in the top pole position, which really put it down to Shubham and Joey, which I thought might go either way. I didn’t mind Shubham, although I much preferred other players. Joey was certainly a great character and showed some capability at doing what was most effective in the show. While at times I think he lacked strategic prowess, like the decision to eliminate Miranda and Sean, both of whom were close and trusting of him. It ultimately didn’t matter and it still paid off for him. But. Risky indeed, I think.

The final five toast to making it to the end of The Circle.
IMAGE: NETFLIX

I also think this whole Day 1 alliance really didn’t give Miranda, Alex, Bill, Sean, or Ed and Tammy a chance to get to the end. They were each eliminated consecutively and would only ever survive one rating round, except for Bill of course. Is it their fault? I mean, possibly. There is an argument to say that none of them were social enough or likeable enough to even get in and infiltrate that group, but I don’t know. I think they got the wrong end of the straw. These five had something unique to them, they started it, and they wanted to finish it and worried about breaking the bonds that would potentially hurt the bonds with them in the end. If Joey did eliminate Rebecca/Seaburn, Shubham is hurt and maybe even Sammie and Chris are worried about him. The five (would now be four) then is cracked. Still, does that mean someone like Ed or Sean slips through to the top? Doubtful. I think they were doomed from the start. And I think that’s a flaw in the game. Will it fixed for Season 2? Possibly. But I don’t quite know what the rectification is.

This reminds me of Bachelor In Paradise or Love Island, not always, but often someone comes in and is just immediately turned away next week, because, everyone else has already coupled up and is out spending time with them. I’m not sure what direction the show needs to go in to make sure the newcomers have a fighting chance. Maybe don’t cast the best characters for Day 1. Not all of them. Even though I really liked Miranda, Bill, and Ed, having them in from the start may have changed the course of the game and brought them out as the winner. I mean, you can only play the what if game now.

Sammie and Chris I think were the standout characters for me. Joey right there in behind. They were just both fun to watch and Chris’ one liners got me and I think everyone laughing every damn moment of an episode. Sammie also I think was the most strategic player, someone who knew what needed to be achieved and set out to do it. But in the end, she never had any top allies. Everyone knew about the Rebecca and Shubham alliance, that had Joey as a third, so Chris and Sammie had no chance. They didn’t try to break that up. They didn’t try to get those newcomers on side. It’s all well and good keeping your Day 1 pals together, but if they’ve got such an obvious and open bond, you can’t keep that in the game. It’s what got Shubham and Rebecca/Seaburn so far into the game in the first place.

The latest entrants, Ed and Tammy, laugh while playing The Circle.
IMAGE: NETFLIX

And what’s with everyone being so open about these bonds? I have no idea why Shubham was willing to risk telling everyone that Rebecca was his girl. That seems stupid. And maybe the Survivor head in me can’t seem to waiver from the fact you should never tell anyone who you’re close to, I just think this was a rookie error that didn’t ever come at a cost with anyone. Why did the intruders never link up and form a coup over those in charge. Sure, they didn’t have a majority. But if Alex, Sean and Bill agreed to rate each other all in the top two each, maybe someone else is eliminated instantly and if they managed to get another couple of high ratings, maybe they even find one of them in the influencer spot who could vow to not send a newcomer home. Think about how the game could have changed! Maybe Sean’s the winner?! My takeaway is that next time, I think people should shut up about who they’re close to, because I doubt lightning will strike twice and see a powerful duo make it to the end, and the newcomers need to link up as soon as possible. Simply for the fact they are otherwise cooked.

Looking at who played, this is my final analysis: Sammie and Chris are the top two, I love. Thank you for being you, providing entertainment, great gameplay, and an amazing season. Joey and Miranda are next, I really liked them both and am so happy for Joey, and excited to see what will come out of the couple in the future. I know they went on that date, can’t wait to hear more. I also really liked Ed and Tammy, although not as much as the top four. Simply because I don’t think we saw enough. Alana for her Day 1 appearance and Karyn/Mercedeze were pretty awesome, they were great to watch. Bill and Rebecca/Seaburn fall next on the list, followed by Shubham and then Sean. They were good, just didn’t connect to them fully. Then probably Antonio, although I wasn’t a fan. And finally Alex/Adam just wasn’t my cup of tea. At all. I didn’t like the strategy, I didn’t like the execution. It’s game over for me.

The finalists prepare to hear the announcement of who won The Circle.
IMAGE: NETFLIX

This was a really good season of a great show that has an awesome premise and complex. The social media and never trusting who, genius. Truly the best aspect of the show. I think the competition itself may need some reworking and kinks straightened out. But for the most part, this was entertaining and worth the watch, and like many, I’m hoping for a second season return of the show. It came together very well, and Netflix is a really good host for the series. Although, the episode uploading schedule seems off. I would be okay with this season releasing episodes per day, or, taking longer too. Hmm. It’s different. I’m interested to see if the numbers have worked in their favour with this format of scheduling. Anyway, I’m really impressed with what we’ve seen and this was a great show to review light heartedly for January and the off season.

Stay tuned, three new shows will be reviewed and covered by myself and the new team member, Matt (another Matthew). We look forward to bringing you our opinions soon!

Are you happy with who ended up taking The Circle crown? Let us know in the comments and be sure to visit our Twitter and Facebook pages!

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