the circle season 3 finale james and matthew feat
Netflix | Studio Lambert

‘The Circle’ Wraps Season 3 With Emotional Ending

Netflix's hit show 'The Circle' wrapped it third season--and yes, there were tears involved. Now we're just wondering how much longer until the next season premieres!
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Netflix’s hit game show The Circle ended September 29 and brought a tear to the winner’s eyes. I even choked up at their reaction to finding out they’d won.

Since I will be talking about the finale, here is your one and only spoiler warning for The Circle.

Who Were the Contestants?

The first eight players were Kai Ghost, Nick Uhlenhuth, Daniel Cusimano, Matthew Pappadia, Michelle Rider, Calvin Crooks, Ruksana Carroll, and Ava and Chanel Capra.

Ava and Chanel entered together as Ava, and later Michelle’s clone. Matthew came in as his best friend “Ashley,” and Nick came in as himself with a different job.

In the third episode, two new catfish entered the Circle. Sophia Layne joined as her sister “Isabella” while Rachel Ward played as her friend’s boyfriend “Jackson.”

Sophia catfished her way into Nick’s heart, but that was revealed in the finale with no hard feelings from either party. Thankfully, Nick hit it off with Rachel, too, so we’ll see how that goes.

James Jefferson, Jr. entered the game in episode six, immediately greeted with warm messages from all in the group. He and Nick had a friendly competition throughout the show.

Jacki Jing entered last in episode nine but didn’t get to play until episode ten. She didn’t have enough time to make the strong bonds the others had, and it sadly got her blocked right before the finale.

Kai, Nick, Matthew, Sophia, and James made it to the finale, with James winning. Matthew came in second, followed by Sophia, then Kai, and then Nick.

James FaceTimed his girlfriend of 12 years to tell her the news and both ended the conversation with tears in their eyes. James said he planned on using the money to support his family, specifically his grandmother, and to put a ring on his girlfriend’s finger. He did just that when he returned home from the game.

the circle season 3 james winner
Netflix | Studio Lambert

Where Did the Season Go Wrong?

Don’t get me wrong, I liked this season, but there were some parts where I hated the producers for what they did. And some of the players made some horrible moves that got them blocked.

The biggest upset in this season was the cloning of Michelle. I can’t imagine the emotions the real Michelle went through when people thought she was fake. I hope they don’t bring that twist back in a future season.

And one of the competitions involved a rap battle. The whole competition was cringy since some of the contestants couldn’t rap or write one. The only saving grace was the Lil Yachty hosted it. I couldn’t listen to half of the raps. Again, producers, please skip this idea next time.

What Could Have Been Better?

Daniel, poor baby Daniel. He should have made more effort to build bonds with the newer players instead of sticking to his small alliances. He could’ve made it a little longer if he had had a stronger bond with Nick since that’s what inevitably got him blocked.

the circle season 3 sophia layne isabella
Netflix | Studio Lambert

Nick’s biggest downfall came from two sources. He was too strategic, and while that got him to the top five, it cost him the money. He was too big of a threat, so players ranked him lower.

Also, Nick blocking Ruksana came out of nowhere. I didn’t see it coming; in fact, I could have sworn he was going to pick Kai. If Nick hadn’t been in power that night, Ruksana definitely would have made it to the finale.

Not to mention his cringy catchphrase again, but can we skip catchphrases like that next season?

What Did ‘The Circle’ Do Right?

All of the contestants were great. I loved every single one of them for various reasons and would have been happy with whoever won.

Matthew, aka “Ashley,” played the best catfish game I’ve seen in all three seasons. He was himself as much as possible in a catfish profile and made strong bonds with almost every player.

Kai is one of my favorite players, and she was my top pick had I been in the final rankings. She played one of the best games while staying away from too much strategy.

And last but not least, most of the games and competitions (obviously excluding the rap battle and the one about Michelle and her clone) were entertaining. I liked how they stirred the pot but didn’t bring a ton of drama.

Out of all three seasons from the American version of The Circle, season three was smack-dab in the middle.