Spoiler alert: This article contains major spoilers for The Circle season 5.The Circle season 5 features the show’s most likable cast yet, and indeed, the success of Netflix’s reality TV hit rests on the likability of each season’s cast. Being a social-media-based competition, it naturally rewards those who do what it takes to achieve popularity. Thus, being likable is a key component to winning the game. The latest season introduces a twist: every cast member plays the game as a single person, meaning romantically unattached. This new wrinkle adds flavor, but it doesn’t change anything about the importance of being likable. Whether they flirt with each other or not, each player still needs the other competitors to rank them highly.
More so than any previous season, there are no true villains in The Circle Singles, as the season is titled, and every player is worth rooting for. Despite the surprisingly appealing personalities of the cast in The Circle season 5, certain players rank higher than others in likability among the viewing audience, so their blockings are that much more heartbreaking to watch. Little evidence suggests the “singles” format of the season has to do with why the cast is so likable. Rather, it’s that ineffable magic which makes some reality TV casts gel wonderfully while others wither on the vine.
Brian is a middle-aged father and grandfather from Portland, Oregon, who is a “catfish” in The Circle. He played as his daughter, Brittney, a single mom. At 47, Brian is the oldest cast member of the season, but he expressed confidence in his ability to present himself as a young woman. Brian has an endearing “upbeat dad” personality, but one of The Circle‘s best catfishes ever he was not. As a result, he ended up one of the first players blocked from The Circle Singles. He wasn’t unlikable overall, but his misplaced confidence bordered on arrogance, so his quick blocking wasn’t a disappointment.
Billie-Jean, a 25-year-old woman from the U.K., played The Circle as a catfish, presenting herself in the guise of “Bruno,” who shares most of her traits other than gender. Bruno made a tentative ally or two, but he didn’t develop enough strong friendships in the Circle to last long. Billie-Jean didn’t display a bold style of play during her time on the show, and she likewise failed to infuse Bruno with much of a personality. As a result, Bruno wasn’t particularly likable or unlikable. Evidently, he was as boring to interact with as he was to watch, so the other players blocked him early.
This cast member deserved better in The Circle. Fans are sure to remember Shubham, the breakout star from season 1. Producers invited him back, but only on the condition that he play as a catfish, and he was not allowed to create his own alter ego. The Circle‘s producers did him a huge disservice when they assigned him the role of 23-year-old blogger “Sasha.” Shubham man is so sweet and guileless that it’s impossible to imagine him catfishing successfully as anyone, let alone an attractive young woman. He stayed sweet during his second time in the Circle, but the gaps between his personality and Sasha’s were jarring.
Tasia is a 28-year-old cybersecurity professional who catfished in the Circle as “Tamira,” a beautiful, 22-year-old cosmetologist. Tasia played the game successfully, the highest-ranked catfish in the end, using her obvious intelligence to strategize out of several sticky The Circle situations and make it all the way to the season finale. In her intro, Tasia described herself as an “a–hole,” but she didn’t come across as one. However, her style of play was strictly tactical, and she was uninterested in connecting with the other players on a personal level. That’s a valid approach to the game, but it doesn’t show Tasia’s likability.
Oliver Twixt played as his bold and entertaining self. That was a wise decision on his part, because he is one of the most powerful personalities in season 5. There’s another reality where Oliver could’ve ranked No. 1 in likability if only he’d entered the Circle earlier. But in this reality, it was Oliver’s bad luck to be the last player to join. As was true in previous seasons, being so late to the game makes the last player seem only like an interloper. It’s an unpopular opinion about The Circle that all players should start from the beginning, but Oliver’s case is evidence of why it’s a valid idea.
Marvin, the muscle-bound chemical engineer with an irrepressible, megawatt smile, quickly achieved popularity within the Circle. However, when he flirted with two different players on the show, first Raven and then Tamira, the women compared notes and discovered his two-timing. That’s when Marvin’s popularity in the Circle cratered. But Marvin is a man fueled by pure positive energy, so after he own-goaled himself into oblivion, he bounced back with a grin so infectious that he stayed impossible to dislike. Even heartbroken Raven, who was furious at Marvin, ultimately failed to hold onto her grudge after she finally met him face to face.
Blocked on the first day of the game, Brett (a Big Brother player who transitioned to The Circle) and Xanthi were invited to reenter the Circle if they would team up to catfish the other players as a 51-year-old bombshell named Jennifer. They accepted the challenge and played better together than they did as individuals. In the first episode, Brett and Xanthi each are a different flavor of obnoxious. However, teaming up elevated their contrasting personalities into a surprisingly refreshing cocktail. Their chemistry together is undeniable, and as “Jennifer,” they played one of the best and most compelling catfishes (and “hackers”) in the series so far.
Raven Sutton, the blue-haired 26-year-old dancer and disability advocate, was a strong and active player. One of the season’s flirtiest cast members of The Circle, she built strong ties with a lot of her fellow Circle members and played a role in several of the season’s crucial storylines. Raven entered the Circle with main-character energy and an enthusiasm that rarely waned, and when it did, it did so in emotionally vulnerable situations that only made her more endearing. Raven’s friend and sign language interpreter Paris deserves honorable mention for contributing to her likability, because their unique chemistry added new colors to the show’s formula.
Season 5 winner Sam is like a cross between Sammie from The Circle‘s first season, Cardi B, and an auntie, with all the boldness of personality the combination implies. One of the funniest The Circle cast members ever, she enjoyed the lion’s share of hilarious quotes and threw the best shade. Sam’s strong sense of loyalty and no-nonsense attitude are what make her one of the most likable cast members of The Circle season 5. More importantly, she kept it 100% real all game long, and no one ever had issues with her. The genuineness of her likable personality was the key to her winning the $100,000 prize.
Tom is a unique player in The Circle‘s history, a quirky British aristocrat who lives in the Tower of London by day and works as a comedian by night. He won friends easily with his sense of humor, and his unfair elimination from the Circle was the season’s most heartbreaking blocking. Tom threatened early on to be one of the most obnoxious players, as he introduced himself with a contrived, arch personality. This dissolved quickly, and Tom turned out to be an earnest, affectionate, and decent man. He was even moved to tears after the other players ranked him No. 1 among them to make him an influencer.
Season 5 runner-up Chaz sat at the top of the players’ rankings from the start, and he was an influencer four times. The man ran a clinic on how to achieve social success by lifting all boats with sincere and unwavering support. Chaz is not only the most likable player in The Circle season 5 but the most likable player in the series so far. Catfishing on The Circle just keeps getting harder, and Chaz proves why keeping it real is usually an effective strategy. He was socially aware enough to be suspicious when he smelled a rat, but this only underlines that when he expressed positivity, which was often, his words were genuine.
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