The first season of The Circle USA was broadcast on Netflix in January 2020 and, like the original British version, featured contestants isolated in apartments who were only able to communicate to their fellow players via the unique social media app ‘The Circle’.
Filmed in the same Salford, Manchester apartment building as the other international versions, the reality show followed the players as they attempted to win over their fellow contestants – with the most popular and highest-rated player winning the game and a grand prize of $100,000.
Hosted by Michelle Buteau, the show featured a diverse group of players, some who appeared as themselves and some who created fake profiles on The Circle app and pretended to be someone else. Among those who weren’t entirely truthful about who they were was Ed Eason, who said he was 26 instead of 23 and neglected to mention his mother Tammy was also in the game with him, and Sean Taylor, who played as herself but used a slimmer woman’s photos in her profile.
It turned out in the end that honesty was the best policy, as both runners up Shubham Goel and Sammi Cimarelli (who won $10,000 as ‘fan favourite’) and the show’s ultimate winner Joey Sasso didn’t fake their profiles.
Away from The Circle, Rochester, New York resident Joey Sasso, who was 25 when he won the $100,000 grand prize, is an actor who briefly appeared in the US daytime soap General Hospital in 2016. He has recently written and co-starred in the upcoming movie Young Lion Of The West, about a club promoter wanting to open his own club.
He talked to GQ Magazine last year about how he was perceived in the series. “A lot of people perceived me in the beginning how people have perceived me in real life, that I’m a douchebag or a cocky a**hole or a Jersey Shore wannabe,” he says.
“I’m the most confident person you’ll ever meet. I believe in myself, I’ll talk to anybody, but people sometimes take that as a douchey way of being. If you actually get to know me, you’ll find out that I love every single person, would do anything for anybody, and suddenly your perception is out the window. That’s why it’s kind of insane to me that this show went the same way.”