Netflix‘s The Circle introduced social media concepts to a reality show similar to Big Brother with a pinch of MTV’s Catfish. 14 contestants move into the same building but will probably never see each other during the competition, which is the whole objective of the game.
The players can only communicate with themselves through the Circle app. The catch is that they can be themselves or catfish the other contestants by acting as someone else, fictional or not.
As the show progresses, each participant has to rate each other to determine who is the most popular and who is the least. The two most popular can choose who will leave the game.
The strategy then lies in the connections the players make in order to remain until the very end, when the winner receives a $100,000 prize. There is also the ‘viewers champion,’ who receives $10,000.
The First Steps of the Game
Only the first eight players are introduced in the competition. They move to their apartment where they will be under 24/7 video and audio survailance.
The first thing they do is create their Circle profile. That’s when they have to decide whether they will be themselves or not. The players have to enter their name, a profile picture, their age, occupation, hometown, and a brief description of themselves.
They can change a few details, be completely themselves, change only the photo, or be someone from a different age or gender. They can create the profile however they want, but they have to stick with it until the end.
How the Competition Works
After everyone creates their profiles, it’s time to join the Circle app. That’s when the contestants get to “meet” each other by reading the descriptions and interacting via messages. They can only talk with each other via text.
Besides the group with every participant, they can create other groups and send direct messages, which is when the social competition starts. Players then have to make alliances to increase their chance of staying in the Circle.
After the players get to know each other a bit and engage in some Circle activities, they have to rate each other to determine who is the most popular and who is the least. The two voted most popular become the influencers.
The two can then confer about who they will choose to be blocked. This is where the importance of relationships comes into play, since it’s less likely that you’ll be blocked if you are close to one of the influencers. The show has a few tricks up its sleeve, like hiding the identity of the influencers or automatically blocking the less-voted players.
The blocked players are eliminated but can choose one of the other participants to visit in person and reveal their true identity. Other players join the competition as the weeks pass and as contestants are blocked. This forces them to stay out of their comfort zone and offers a new chance to create connections with someone new.
The ultimate winner of The Circle is decided in the finale with a final rating between the last five players. They all meet each other in person for the first time before the results arrive and the highest-rated player wins the game and the $100,000 prize.