The Circle (French TV series)
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|The Circle France|
The official title screen for the show.
|French||The Circle Game|
|Narrated by||Alfred Gerbet|
|Country of origin||France|
|No. of series||1|
|No. of episodes||12|
|Running time||37–51 minutes|
|Production company||Studio Lambert|
|Original release||9 April 2020|
The Circle France (also known as The Circle Game in France) is a French reality competition show, produced by Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group which first aired on Netflix on 9 April 2020 that is based on a British TV series of the same name. Along with The Circle France, Netflix also released separate versions of The Circle in the United States and Brazil. The show bills itself as a game based around social media, with the concept that "anyone can be anyone in The Circle". It has been compared to Big Brother and Catfish in format, as well as Black Mirror episode "Nosedive" with the concept of ratings.
On 9 April 2020, the season was won by Romain Ben, who had played the game as himself, and won the €100,000 (US$110,000) prize that came along with it. Éléa was the runner-up.
The contestants, or "players", move into the same apartment building. However, the contestants do not meet face-to-face during the course of the competition, as they each live in their own individual apartment. They communicate solely using their profiles on a specially-designed social media app that gives them the ability to portray themselves in any way they choose. Players can thus opt to present themselves as a completely different personality to the other players, a tactic otherwise known as catfishing; for example, one male player in the first season presented himself as a female identity, while another female contestant used photos of a woman she felt was more attractive.
Throughout the series, the contestants "rate" one another from first to last place. At the end of the ratings, their average ratings are revealed to one another from lowest to highest. Normally, the two highest-rated players become "influencers", while the remaining players will be at risk of being "blocked" by the influencers. However, occasionally there may be a twist to the blocking process – varying from the lowest rating players being instantly blocked, the identity of the influencers being a secret, or multiple players being blocked at one time. Blocked players are eliminated from the game, but are given the opportunity to meet one player still in the game in-person. Then, the day after a blocking, a video message is shown to the remaining players to reveal if they were real or fake.
During the finale, the contestants rate each other one final time, where the highest rated player wins the game and €100,000 (US$110,000).
The players were selected from the "20–25 individuals" being cleared to appear on the show, with the remaining people never leaving standby status and not appearing on the show. The first nine players were revealed on The Circle France's Instagram profile. The players' profiles were revealed as they introduced themselves on-screen during an episode.
|Lou Baudry||22||Marseille||Herself||Episode 1||Episode 2||Blocked|
|Josette "Jo" Guérin||78||Verneuil-sur-Seine||Friends playing jointly as 25-year-old "Nicolas"||Episode 1||Episode 4||Blocked|
|Cédric Doumbé||27||Bordeaux||Himself||Episode 1||Episode 6||Blocked|
|Gary Jarny||30||Les Sables-d'Olonne||Himself||Episode 1||Episode 8||Blocked|
|Ines Camilia Tazi||23||London||Herself, but single||Episode 1||Episode 9||Blocked|
|Paolo Rodriguez||21||Chatou||Himself||Episode 6||Episode 10||Blocked|
|Virginie Constance Catala||28||Avignon||Herself, but a single 30-year-old gynecologist||Episode 8||Episode 11||Blocked|
|Maxime Merkouchenko||24||Monaco||"Valeria", his 25-year-old girlfriend||Episode 1||Episode 12||Fifth place|
|Edmundo Faisca||24||London||Twin brothers playing as "Nelia", |
a 25-year-old fashion blogger from Toulouse
|Episode 4||Episode 12||Fourth place|
|Rudy Doukhan||37||Marseille||"Gabriel", a single 32-year-old father||Episode 2||Episode 12||Third place|
|Éléa||27||Nice||Herself||Episode 1||Episode 12||Runner-up|
|Romain Ben||28||Paris||Himself||Episode 1||Episode 12||Winner|
|Title||Original air date|
|1||1||"Hello Circle"||9 April 2020|
|The first eight players entered The Circle and created their profiles, including their name, age, hometown, and a short bio. Immediately after, the players were shown everyone else's profiles. For the rest of the day, players were given time to chat with each other and talk on The Circle Chat. Then the ratings opened, and the players had to rate the other profiles from first to seventh. The two players that received the highest average rating would become an Influencer.|
|2||2||"Blocked"||9 April 2020|
Éléa and Cédric, placing first and second respectively, became the first Influencers.
That night, Éléa and Cédric went to the Hangout to discuss their decision. Meanwhile, those in danger entered the At Risk Chat to talk. Éléa and Cédric decided to block Lou. After being blocked, Lou visited Cédric to talk face-to-face. The next morning, The Circle posted a goodbye message from Lou.
|3||3||"#cgolri"||9 April 2020|
A new player, Rudy entered The Circle, playing as Gabriel.
The next day, the ratings opened. Rudy, being the newest player in The Circle, could rate but could not be rated. Ines and Maxime became Influencers, placing first and second respectively.
|4||4||"The Rocking Grandmother"||9 April 2020|
|Ines and Maxime decided to block Jo & Monique. Jo & Monique decided to visit Romain, revealing that they were a catfish. The next morning, The Circle posted a goodbye video from Jo & Monique, revealing to all players that Nicolas was a lie. Soon after, the players were allowed to post a new photo to their profile. Edmundo & João enter The Circle, playing as Nelia. Edmundo & João could pick one player to invite on a private date.|
|5||5||"#TeamWinner"||9 April 2020|
Edmundo & João chose to go on a date with Romain.
That night, ratings opened. As the newest players, Edmundo & João could rate but could not be rated. This time, Rudy could be rated.
|6||6||"Knocked Out"||9 April 2020|
|It was announced that there would be no Influencers. The two lowest rated players would be at risk. The other six players would decide who would be blocked. The two lowest rated players, Éléa and Cédric, went to the Hangout where they saw each other face-to-face. Cédric received three of the five available votes, meaning he was blocked. Soon after, Paolo entered The Circle. The players had to write a handwritten card to send the Paolo. After, they were uploaded to the newsfeed for everyone to see.|
|7||7||"Alliances"||9 April 2020|
Paolo was able to send one gift, either a teddy bear, a box of chocolates, or a bouquet, to whoever's message made this biggest impact on him. He decided to send the box of chocolates to Romain.
|8||8||"The Last 8"||9 April 2020|
Éléa and Ines decided to block Gary. Gary decided to visit Ines, meeting face-to-face. The next morning, Gary's goodbye message was posted on the newsfeed. That same day, the last player, Virginie, entered The Circle.
|9||9||"The Super Influencer"||9 April 2020|
The players were informed that Virginie was the last player to join The Circle. They were also told that the next rating would not have two Influencers, but just one "Superinfluencer" who would have the power to block any player of their choosing. The ratings opened, and since Virginie was the newest player, she could rate but could not be rated. Romain became the Superinfluencer, and he decided to block Ines. The next morning, the newsfeed was updated with Ines' goodbye message.
|10||10||"The Betrayal"||9 April 2020|
The ratings opened with another rule change. The least popular player would be instantly blocked. Paolo was the lowest rated player, and he was blocked. Paolo went to visit Edmundo & João. The next morning, the newsfeed was updated with Paolo's goodbye video. Soon after, the players were allowed to post a new photo to their profile.
|11||11||"No Filter"||9 April 2020|
The ratings opened. These ratings determined who advanced to the finale. The next morning, the ratings were revealed. Romain and Élea, placing first and second respectively, and became the last Influencers of the season.
Romain and Élea decided to block Virginie.
|12||12||"The Finale"||9 April 2020|
|The players entered their ratings for the final time. Then, the players, as part of finale night, all went to one room to meet each other face-to-face for the first time during the whole game. Romain entered first, followed by Maxime, Éléa, and Rudy. Edmundo & João entered the room last. Then, one at a time, they entered the living room, where all of the blocked players were waiting. Before the ratings were revealed, the final five players were informed that all of the final eight players had taken part in the final ratings, including Virginie, Paolo, and Ines. Romain, earning first place, became the winner of The Circle France.|
Tim Harcourt is the creative director of Studio Lambert, which produces the British and American versions of the show. Harcourt wondered what a reality show would look like if the people never met face-to-face. He had also been considering the idea of a bird's-eye view-style documentary of an apartment building, seeing into each of their lives. He began to work on The Circle after hearing that Channel 4 was looking for a reality-show format centered on social media.
The British version of the show premiered in 2018, and was renewed for its second season a few months after the first season ended. After the first season was Channel 4's "youngest profiling" show in six years, according to the British TV industry magazine Broadcast, talks began of international versions. On October 8, 2018, Netflix announced its partnership with All3Media to create three international versions of The Circle on Netflix, including the American version. Brandon Reigg, Netflix's Vice Principal of Unscripted Content, stated, "We think the show's combination of modern social media interaction and competition will captivate Netflix members around the world, in multiple languages, and we're delighted to partner with Studio Lambert and Motion to produce these three new local versions."
In an interview with Variety, Tim Harcourt, one of the executive producers for Studio Lambert, stated that The Circle format and premise allowed the casting team to search for all different kinds of people. He noted how the casting contrasted from casts on show like Real Housewives or Jersey Shore and how those shows are "all one gang of quite similar characters." He explained how there was no set cast for the show until it was over. The first eight players to enter were all predetermined and planned, but everything after that was all luck to whoever got on. Harcourt stated that the production team would decide who would be the right fit depending on who just left the game, acknowledging that with thirteen contestants, not all who were possible players end up on the show at all.
The Circle app
Each apartment that the players live in is plastered with screens in every room in order for the players be able to hold conversations with other players as they go about their everyday lives. Each player starts out the game by creating a profile. This includes sharing their age, relationship status, a short bio, and one photo to use as their profile picture. Everyday, the players are allowed to share a status update, explaining their thoughts for the day. Sometimes, either through rewards or passing a certain milestone, the players are allowed to upload another photo to their profile. However, the main purpose of The Circle ("du Cercle" in French) is to be the only way players can communicate with each other.
At several points during the game, usually every episode, The Circle has the players play a minigame so that they can get to know their fellow players better. Tim Harcourt of Studio Lambert says that "some games were really good for bonding them, some were really good for them learning about each other, some were good for testing who's a catfish, some could have been more divisive."
At certain points during the show, there would be a rating. Players would have to rate each other from first to last by using The Circle and announcing the players they want in each placement. Then, the ratings would be averaged and create an average placement for each player. Depending on how high or low their average placement was, the player's ranking would determine if they became in influencer or not. An influencer is usually the two people who get first and second place at the ratings. The influencers would head to the hangout and discuss over The Circle which person to block.
The Circle France was filmed in December 2019, in the same Salford, England apartment building that was also used by American version's first season, the British version's second season, and the Brazilian version's first season. The season was the last of those four seasons filmed.
On 26 March 2020, the trailer for the French version was released, revealing the premiere date to be 9 April 2020, and the prize amount to be €100,000 (US$110,000). All twelve episodes were released on 9 April; this is different from all other versions which released several episodes weekly.
Results and elimination
|The contestant was blocked.|
|The contestant was an influencer.|
|The contestant was immune from being blocked.|
|Episode 2||Episode 4||Episode 6||Episode 8||Episode 9||Episode 10||Episode 11||Episode 12|
|Not in |
|Edmundo & João |
|Not in |
|Virginie||Not in |
|Paolo||Not in |
|Jo & Monique |
choice to block
|Jo & Monique |
choice to block
3 of 5 votes
choice to block
choice to block
choice to block
|Edmundo & João|
- ^Note 1 : In Episode 6, there were no Influencers. Instead, the two lowest-rated players were at risk and were the only ones that could be blocked. The five other players (excluding Edmundo & João, as a new player) voted publicly in the Circle Chat to block one of the bottom two. Romain, Maxime and Rudy chose to block Cédric, and Ines and Gary chose to block Éléa. Since Cédric received more votes, he was blocked.
- ^Note 2 : In Episode 9, the ratings were not published. Instead, the highest-rated player automatically became a secret "Superinfluencer", who had the sole decision on whom to block.
- ^Note 3 : In Episode 10, there were no Influencers. Instead, the least popular player was instantly blocked.
- ^Note 4 : In Episode 12, the Final Set of Ratings determined the winner of The Circle Game. In a twist, the last three blocked players (Ines, Virginie, Paolo) also contributed for the Final Ratings, as they were a part of the Final 8 players - they rated all remaining players before their post-block room visit.
Joe Keller from Decider, in a regular series called "Stream It or Skip It", told his audience to stream it. His reasons include that the format is still solid and the gist of the show is still fresh, despite four previous international seasons. However, he does comment that the cast is lacking in diversity, especially since this season aired after the "sexually-fluid" cast of the Brazilian version.
- "Season 1 Trailer: The Circle France". netflix.com (in French). Netflix. 26 March 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2020.
- White, Peter (18 December 2018). "'The Circle': Netflix Lines Up French & Brazilian Remakes As Studio Lambert Uses UK Hub For Reality Format". deadline.com. Deadline. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
- Elise Sandberg, Bryn. "Netflix to Adapt U.K. Reality Series 'The Circle'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
- Abdulbaki, Mae (26 September 2019). "Netflix's New Reality Competition The Circle Is Already Super Popular In The U.K." Cinema Blend. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
- Kuchera, Ben (10 January 2020). "Netflix's The Circle is the sweetest reality show about catfishing". Polygon. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
- Turchiano, Danielle (1 January 2020). "'The Circle' Boss on Connecting 'People Who Otherwise Might Not Have Come into Contact with Each Other' — And Catfishing". variety.com. Variety. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
- @circlegame (8 April 2020). "Qui d'autre ne peut pas attendre! 🙌 regardez les joueurs entrer dans The Circle Tomorrow sur @NetflixFR". instagram.com. Instagram. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
- Smallman, Etan (29 December 2019). "Inside 'The Circle,' Reality TV Gets a Social Media Filter". nytimes.com. London, United Kingdom: The New York Times. Retrieved 30 December 2019.
- Buczak, Lizzy (2020-02-25). "Exclusive Interview: What's Next for Best Friend Bill from 'The Circle'". CraveyouTV TV Show Recaps, TV Reviews, Spoilers, Interviews. Retrieved 2020-02-27.
- "Hello Circle". The Circle France. Season 1. Episode 1. 9 April 2020. Netflix.
- "Blocked". The Circle France. Season 1. Episode 2. 9 April 2020. Netflix.
- "#cgolri". The Circle France. Season 1. Episode 3. 9 April 2020. Netflix.
- "The Rocking Grandmother". The Circle France. Season 1. Episode 4. 9 April 2020. Netflix.
- "#TeamWinner". The Circle France. Season 1. Episode 5. 9 April 2020. Netflix.
- "Knocked Out". The Circle France. Season 1. Episode 6. 9 April 2020. Netflix.
- "Alliances". The Circle France. Season 1. Episode 7. 9 April 2020. Netflix.
- "The Last 8". The Circle France. Season 1. Episode 8. 9 April 2020. Netflix.
- "The Super Infulencer". The Circle France. Season 1. Episode 9. 9 April 2020. Netflix.
- "The Betrayal". The Circle France. Season 1. Episode 10. 9 April 2020. Netflix.
- "No Filter". The Circle France. Season 1. Episode 11. 9 April 2020. Netflix.
- "The Finale". The Circle France. Season 1. Episode 12. 9 April 2020. Netflix.
- Tutton, Charlotte (18 January 2019). "The Circle season 2 confirmed as Channel 4 series returns with a HUGE twist". OK! Magazine. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
- Ling, Thomas. "The Circle series 2 confirmed – but there are going to be some changes". Radio Times. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
- "Netflix to Adapt UK Unscripted Sensation The Circle with Three Local Versions for Countries Around the World". Hollywood, California: Netflix Media Center. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
- "Jennifer TEIXIDO". Linkedin. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
- "Jenn Teixido 🎬 Directrice des castings @tf1 . Directrice de casting @thecirclenetflix France . The Circle Game France - 9 avril sur @netflixfr ⭕️". instagram.com. Instagram. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
- Fallo, Julie (3 January 2020). "The Circle: US Version Has a Shot at Succeeding From All the Right Changes". screenrant.com. Screen Rant. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
- Haylock, Zoe (2020-01-21). "The Circle's Creator Guides Us Through the Show's Beautiful Web of Lies". Vulture. Retrieved 2020-01-22.