After three crazy weeks, The Circle final is here, meaning it won’t be long before we find out which lucky player will bag the £100k cash prize and, more importantly, we get to see the look on Manrika’s face when she finds out her Circle boyfriend Felix is actually a lady named Natalya – it’s going to be great!
It’s been one heck of a series, with multiple twists and turns along the way, including one player cloning another, the return of three players, and last night’s latest twist which saw super influencer Andy get to block one contestant anonymously.
With the final just hours away, here’s who’s left in the competition, and who has already been sent packing.
- All the behind-the-scenes facts from The Circle 2021 – from the number of cameras to how the social media app works
Played by: Pippa and Joey
Tom is the fictional character created by The Circle and played by Pippa and Joey. If the pair make it to the final and win the show, they will split the £100k cash prize.
Job: Secondary school teacher
Playing as: 23-year-old chemistry teacher Alice
Shabaz was the last player to enter The Circle for the third series.
Instead of playing himself, he decided to join the show as Alice, 23, explaining: “The minute I saw it, I knew I’d want to play this girl. I’ve been on social media for so long and this girl has always sort of been my competition. She’s the type of person that everybody hangs on her every word; everybody buys her merch; she gets millions of views. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to live in this type of person’s shoes and see what it’s like having the world treat me completely differently.”
Job: Paralegal in commercial litigation
Playing as: Herself
The 26-year-old paralegal originally entered The Circle as herself, saying: “I’m going in The Circle to prove that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I’m often misjudged by my appearance and the way I look. People assume that I lack intelligence. When me and my friends get chatting with people about what we do for work, when it comes to me people assume it’s something based on aesthetics. I’m always explaining that actually, I have master’s degree in law; I’ve studied law for seven years. There’s more to me than meets the eye.”
Unfortunately she was blocked on Day 16, after Felix (Natalya) who was influencer at the time chose to send her home.
However, in true Circle fashion, Pippa was given a second chance at the show as she teamed up with Joey (who had been playing Femi) to continue in the competition as a fictional character named Father Tom – and the pair are doing a pretty good job if you ask me!
Playing as: Nigerian immigrant version of himself called Femi
Joey joined The Circle as a slightly different version of himself, playing a Nigerian immigrant named version as a tribute to his parents’ path to the UK.
“I thought it would just be a good kind of thing for me to be able to touch on the fact that there are a lot of immigrants in the UK that move away from different countries seeking a better life to support family back home. I thought that would be a good thing to highlight. And I kind of love the show anyway. I’ve watched the last two seasons. I thought it’d be fun,” he said.
Unfortunately for Joey, he was knocked out of the competition by Dot (played by Scott), but was then made to team up with Pippa to play Father Joe.
Job: Military police woman
Playing as: Felix, a 29-year-old paratrooper
Natalya entered The Circle as a member of the military service, but instead of playing herself, she decided to play a man.
Speaking of her decision to go into the show, she said: “I like the message that I’m portraying, that all is not what you see with the gender roles in the military. It would be nice to say that a female in armed forces can still retain her femininity as well as being a successful solider. I think the more powerful meaning behind it is that I can do exactly the same as what any man can do, but because of my gender it’s not always been seen as the case.”
Job: Company director
Playing as: himself
The company director is hoping to win the others over by being “unashamedly me.”
Speaking of the show’s format, he said: “I think It’s really cool. I like the idea of interacting with people in a way that I don’t normally, because I’ve never sent a DM in my life. But I don’t want my kids to grow up in a world where it’s cooler to be someone else than it is to be themselves.”
At 18, Andy has life saving surgery where they removed his large bowel – however, it didn’t affect his life or career.
In fact, he says it pushed him further, with the contestant adding: “I think if you meet me you wouldn’t think that by 22 I was the youngest general manager at a football stadium in Europe at a premier league club and also went on to run other high profile stadiums and events.”
Job: YouTuber and content creator
Playing as: His Uncle Syed
As a YouTuber and content creator, Hashu must be pretty familiar with the social media world and know his way around. Not that that will matter anyway, because he’s playing his Uncle Syed instead.
So, why did Hashu decided to play his uncle?
“People see First generation migrants and often assume that they have a barrier to their ability to communicate with society due to English sometimes being their second language. I really want to take this opportunity to portray a character like that, and completely break them free of any assumptions that people might make about him. I want to show that that generation can have a real laugh too and see how people react,” Hashu explained.
Job: Recruitment consultant and content creator
Playing as: Herself
The content creator from Birmingham admits she can barely get off her phone on a regular day, so The Circle should be easy for her.
She’s hoping to win the cash prize to help her family, saying: “We’ve struggled quite a lot our whole lives so to be able to win that money would completely change our lives.”
As well as this, she wants to challenge the perception of Indian women on TV.
She continued: “My parents and family are very westernised but it’s the wider society, the way that I live isn’t the expectation of what an Indian girl should be. So, I’m going on to show that you can still live your life, have that social media lifestyle and also be a respectable girl. It’s very rare to see an Indian girl on a TV show.”
Scott – OUT 7th
Playing as: His 85-year-old nan Dorothy
Actor Scott channelled his grandma Dorothy in The Circle, saying: “I think I’ve got enough knowledge and at the end of the day, she’s my nan, she’s also a real person, I’m not making a person up. I’ve got facts because she’s my nan and like I said, I’ve done so much work and so much research into her that I think that I’ll definitely be convincing enough. And something else that will help me is the fact that I’m actor so I’m used to playing characters.”
Unfortunately, he was sent packing when Manrika and Syed were made influencers and had to pick who to send home out of Dot, Felix and Andy.
Manrika wouldn’t block her “boyfriend” and Syed couldn’t imagine getting rid of his Circle “brother”, so in the end they decided to let Dot go.
Following his blocking, Scott got to visit one other contestant and of course chose to meet his Circle bestie, Felix.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Scott opened up about Natalya catfishing as Felix, saying: “It is a little bit close to the bone.”
Yolanda – OUT 1st
Job: Dating agency founder
Playing as: Her husband Chris
Yolanda originally entered The Circle as her husband Chris – however, she was the first contestant to be blocked by James who was voted most popular and became the influencer.
The 30-year-old was expected to leave the show, but a new twist was then thrown in the mix with Yolanda being given the opportunity to stay on, but as a clone of one of the other contestants. She decided to clone Tally, and became Orange Tally. However, when the contestants had to decide on which one to keep in the competition, the majority voted to save the original Tally, putting an end to her time in The Circle.
Billy – OUT 3rd
Job: Sports marketing manager
Playing as: Himself
Billy from Essex joined the show as himself.
When asked what his motivation was for signing up for the Channel 4 show, he said: “The prize money! I do also like the game – The Circle is different to everything else, it’s very unique so I thought, why not?”
The other contestants weren’t convinced and thought Billy was being played by his mum.
Speaking in an interview with RadioTimes.com following his blocking, The Circle’s Billy revealed who he thinks should win.
James – OUT 5th
Job: Strength and conditioning coach
Playing as: NHS nurse Gemma
The former Gladiator entered The Circle as someone completely differently to himself – a NHS nurse. He was hoping to pull off his disguise and win some money for the NHS, but the other contestants saw through his act and he was sent home. Before that, James had confessed to Andy about who he really was. Although Andy didn’t share it with any of the others until it was revealed who James was, it didn’t change how he saw Gemma.
Jamie and Millie – OUT 2nd
Ages: Jamie is 57 and Millie is 20
Jobs: Jamie is a relationship therapist and Millie is a student
Playing as: Penny, a 47-year-old letting agent from London
The father and daughter duo played as Penny, who is “likeable, slightly sassy, [and] comes from the school of hard knocks 49-year-old.” The pair created the character with the “ideal step mum” in mind for Millie and the “ideal partner” in mind for Jamie.
“Millie has lived with me since she was six and we’re lucky that we have the same silly sense of humour. The humour side is very important as well as the empathy from Penny. Between us we already love Penny for different reasons,” Jamie explained.
Jamie and Millie were the second contestants to be blocked from The Circle, after influencers at the time, Andy and Syed (Hashu), decided not to keep them on the show. The other contestants were relived to find out they’d blocked a catfish.
Tally – Out 4th
Job: Reception at a doctor’s surgery
Playing as: Herself
After years of being bullied at school for wearing glasses and being “lanky”, Tally created her Instagram built on edited images. After looking at the page, she realised it doesn’t reflect her at all, admitting: “I’m kind of embarrassed of my own Instagram.”
Her plan was to go into The Circle and “strip” back everything and get to know people as her true, authentic self.
“I want to see if you are really only accepted if you look a certain way,” she said.
Unfortunately for Tally, she was voted out of the show after she was placed last in the rankings by multiple players including her best pal on the show Manrika.
Manrika thought Tally’s judgement was being clouded by Gemma, so rated her “Circle boyfriend” Felix (Natalya) higher and Tally lower. It eventually led to Andy who was voted influencer blocking Tally from The Circle.
Following her exit, Tally revealed what she really thinks of Manrika in an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com.
Vithun – Out 6th
Playing as: Himself
The 23-year-old initially grappled with the idea of being himself or someone totally different.
“I was either going to be myself or I was considering being a white man because from the research I’ve done on British reality TV shows, white men have been the most popular demographic,” he explained.
In the end, Vithun decide to go with what he knows, with the hope of setting a record on the Channel 4 show as the “first Asian to win.”
“I want to be the first Asian to win a civilian reality show and I want to do that while playing an Asian otherwise I think it defeats the objective,” he said.
Unfortunately, he was blocked from The Circle when Manrika and Felix were made influencers.