The Circle contestants only had privacy in the bathroom when they asked for it (no spoilers)

If you’re like me, you saw the preview for The Circle on Netflix, thought it looked dumb, and then moved on because you’re not a fan of reality competition shows. However after I read the positive reviews by my girl Kate Hudson at Pajiba (I know the Pajiba critics are not my real life friends, but I feel like they are!) I decided to watch it. It is a heartwarming show about being yourself, making friends, and upping your text game, frankly. While binging that show I was texting my friends and family because it really makes you think about the people you care about, and how technology keeps you connected. If you’re not familiar with it, The Circle is a show where 7 people are put in their own apartments in a building together, but have no face-to-face contact. They communicate only through text, and the only thing they know about each other is a brief bio and some photos. Anyone can be a catfish and it is up to them to get to know each other, to forge alliances and to rate and block players. When someone is blocked a new person comes to take their place. Yes it sounds like other competition shows but I loved it and couldn’t stop watching it. You really get to know and like the people, particularly the four original and genuine players: Shubham, Sammie, Chris and Joey. Without giving away the ending because I know so many people haven’t seen it, it was uplifting and I felt like the right person won. That’s all I’m saying!

Anyway People had this FAQ about how things were set up behind the scenes and it answered some questions for me.

How far apart were the apartments in that building?
The apartments are all in one wing.

Could the contestants hear through the walls?
No one could hear through the walls.

How did the contestants get their food?
The contestants ordered groceries via the producers (or spoke aloud) and they was delivered. [sic] They put in food orders every day or so. They got what they asked for; there wasn’t anything set up specially by the producers.

How quickly did they have to leave after being blocked?
Right away. But they stuck around in Manchester to film the reunion.

How long did filming the full season take?
Filming lasted three weeks — there was only one day between the final “normal” part of the series, where the five finalists all met in person, and the reunion.

Did the contestants get to choose all the photos they put in the circle pool themselves?
Producers had no say in what was used.

Were they limited on what they could discuss?
No limits.

How often did the cameras film them?
The cameras — which covered the apartment — filmed 24/7. There were also cameras in the bathroom, but contestants had to give permission to be filmed in there and could have the producers turn off the audio to give them privacy.

Were they monitored while using the gym and rooftop?
The use of the gym and rooftop was controlled by production to make sure only one contestant was moving at a time, and they were always chaperoned.

Were the contestants allowed to drink?
They were allowed to drink at certain times.

Could they chat with other players at any time?
There was downtime from the “game,” but contestants could chat whenever they wanted to as well, except late at night.

Was it just the contestants inside the apartment building?
The contestants were there by themselves in the apartment building while filming. In September, it was still empty and appeared like it was going to be renovated. It was later turned into an actual building with units for rent or sale.

Could they contact anyone besides each other?
They only also had contact with producers.

Did the contestants decide themselves when to end conversations?
Choosing when to end conversations was totally tactical. There were no late-night chats allowed, though, so the contestants could sleep without pressure.

Were they given their activities in the apartments?
They brought their activities with them. Shooby (aka Shubham Goel) even finished multiple books.

[From People]

People also confirmed that the photos the catfish were using to fake their identities came from models who signed waivers, of course. As for the books Shooby was reading, The Cut has a cute article about the books each contestant brought, which were covered over to obscure the titles. He brought Shakespeare’s plays and a book by Mark Twain. Seaburn aka Rebecca had The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Karyn/Mercedeze had Becoming by Michelle Obama.

I’m not surprised to hear that players only had privacy in their bathrooms when they asked for it and then it was only muted audio. It sounds really invasive but that’s what they signed up for. I wonder what kind of exit counseling they got. It seemed like the original cast were getting understandably getting caught up in that world. Oh and I wondered whether anyone could hear through the walls! Sometimes they screamed at certain outcomes. It’s also surprising to me that they filmed in Manchester, but this was based on a British series. Netflix has French and Brazilian versions of this in the works and I will so watch them! I would also watch any follow-up or series with new people. This was highly entertaining and didn’t have the negativity of so many competition shows.




Photos courtesy Netflix

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24 Responses to “The Circle contestants only had privacy in the bathroom when they asked for it (no spoilers)”

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  1. Belli says:

    I’m not usually a fan of reality tv, but I actually enjoyed The Circle (the British C4 one, I mean)

  2. Hope says:

    I want to know how Joey has such a strong accent when he’s from Rochester. Was he just doing his best Pacino the entire time?

  3. Swack says:

    My granddaughter had this on the other day. I could not stand to watch it or even listen to it. Put my headphones in and listened to music.

  4. Veronica says:

    I cried multiple times in this show, especially when Sean the plus size woman comes on. Totally a heartwarming show that does wonders for diverse representation on telly.

  5. Missy says:

    Im sorry, I guess as someone who has never seen the show, I guess im still a little confused on the concept of it? Like, they’re neighbors in an appartment who cant interact face to face? Isn’t that every neighbor appartment everywhere? 😂 is it a dating show? How and why do they get blocked?

    Edit, okay I re-read it and now *kind of* get how people get “blocked.” But still a little confused on the overall concept of the show.

    • Esmom says:

      Haha, yeah, my sons’ dorm floors in college are sadly the same way.

      This show wasn’t on my radar but now I think I’ll check it out.

  6. Kk2 says:

    This show is super addictive and I don’t really watch much reality tv. It’s like the tv equivalent of cotton candy.

  7. eto says:

    I thought the show sounded ridiculous so of course I loved it from the 1st episode. The end of the season does start to drag, but it’s a pretty entertaining show. My faves were Shooby, Chris, and Seaburn aka Rebecca.

  8. OriginalLala says:

    Seaburn (AKA Rebecca) was my favorite – his giant bear and onesie were adorable. i weirdly loved this show

  9. Alice says:

    I couldn’t stop watching this haha. Could not STAND Adam.

  10. Sen says:

    I don’t typically watch reality TV but I liked this show. Seaburn has a great booty!

  11. Lurker says:

    It was cute but I was constantly cringing at how phony they sounded… i mostly watched it because they kept using shots from Milwaukee and I was curious as to where they filmed it and after a quick google search learned they actually were in England. Anywho, i liked the show.

  12. BeanieBean says:

    Only one book for three weeks? I’d block that person.

  13. Elo says:

    I really loved this show. The minute Joey came on I thought he was going to be such a douche but he ended up being my absolute favorite player.
    I also adored how Sammie had no interest in flirting and how Shooby was so genuine. They had some pretty rad contestants.

    • MaryContrary says:

      Same. I thought Joey was so cheeseball at first but loved him by the end. That pretty much encapsulates how I felt about the whole show-lol.

  14. Nola says:

    I put on the first episode thinking it would be background noise while I was cleaning, and totally got sucked in. I really enjoyed it. I was happy with the winner. My faves were Shooby, Chris, Joey, and Seaburn.

  15. Scollins says:

    Okay. Talked me into it. brb

  16. Deezee says:

    It was fantastic. I thought it would be pure trash but it ended up being the best trash tv around. Seaburn aka Rebecca, Sammie, and Shooby were my favourites. I could NOT stand Ed and his mom!

  17. Cate says:

    How could you not want to adopt Shooby after watching. Chris was hilarious! I thought Joey got a little snakey towards the end. Adam/Alex made my skin crawl, God bless his wife is all I’m gonna say. My theory on Seaburn is that he is gay and Rebecca was a cousin or other relative. That video message she left was so awkward and cold and unromantic. Watch him at the reunion, I get actor vibe from him. More power to him, he played very well.