The winner’s circle! Champions of Netflix’s The Circle have been outsmarting, outcharming and outranking the competition since the show premiered in 2020.
While living in isolation, contestants on the reality competition series communicate with other players via “circle chat” and attempt to get to know each other based on social media profiles. To become a finalist, participants must survive a series of “blockings” while trying to discover who among them is authentic — and who is a catfish.
Frank Grimsley, who became the season 4 winner in May 2022, always knew that he had the chops to be the last player standing.
“I think that I am not like anybody else in this world. I knew that I could not only play the game, I knew that I could win the game. And I felt like I could do that by genuinely just being my authentic self,” the licensed therapist told Parade after his victory. Grimsley also explained why he was never tempted by the idea of playing as a catfish.
“I really wanted to show little fat boys, little fat girls, and other men and women of big size. I really wanted to show that we could get into these spaces and be just as popular. I think growing up, I had this idea that you’ve got to have washboard abs to be popular,” the Maryland native said.
He continued: “You never really see somebody my size being in a space and not only occupying it but owning it. Because I believe every space I walk into, I own it. That’s why I feel like my confidence is so high. So, I think I had to show not only that I knew that I could do it, but I had to show the world that I could be in these spaces, and I could be most popular, and I could win this game by being fat and Black.”
Season 2 winner DeLeesa St. Agathe, for her part, took a different approach, choosing to play as Trevor — a single version of her real-life husband — rather than herself. Although the New York native concealed her true identity on The Circle, her advice to other catfishes on the show is to be authentic whenever possible.
“As much as you can, be yourself! You don’t need to lie and pretend to be this whole entire persona. When people read your messages, they connect with you when you are being genuine,” she told Bustle after her May 2021 win. “I see a lot of comments where people are like, ‘I don’t want to root for catfish. I want a real person to win.’ We are real people. We’re all playing a game.”
Scroll through to see what the Circle winners are up to now: