RECAP: “The Circle” U.S. Season 6, Episodes 9-12

May 7, 2024

BY Eric Rezsnyak

I continue to struggle to fully vibe with this season. It’s certainly a competitive group of players — of the six players remaining by the end of Episode 12, I would say all except Lauren are playing to win. But it also feels highly transactional in a way I don’t think “The Circle” has felt before. The alliances and even the supposed showmances just feel like means to an end. I don’t believe any of these people actually care about connections. They just want the title and the check.

We’ll find out who wins both of those when the next bunch of episodes are released tomorrow. But in the meantime, here are my player rankings, from worst performance to best as of the end of Episode 12. Disagree? Drop your thoughts in the comments.


“The Circle” U.S. Season 6 Episodes 1-4 Recap

“The Circle” U.S. Season 6 Episodes 5-8 Recap

“Love Is Blind” Season 6 Finale Recap

Best Reality TV Competition

Best Netflix Original Series


Following up from the E8 cliffhanger, Caress did as expected and sacrificed her spot in the game to save her Ride-or-Die, Kyle. Caress might have been a genuinely bad player, but I do think she had at least an awareness of how poorly she was playing the game. I like Caress as a person quite a bit, and I’m curious to know what she thought she was doing playing that aggressively. Ultimately she made the right choice. Kyle is not a top-tier player, but it would have been brutal to see him axed because he was tethered to a partner who had no idea what they were doing.


I felt terrible for Autumn and the brigading that befell her right before the last rankings. She was new to the game, she was naive, and after her Ride-or-Die Lauren foolishly took a swipe at her in one of the Circle Chat games, she was effectively marked for death. But she survived, because Caress was truly THAT bad of a player. You would think that a miraculous second chance would have been enough to get Autumn to play the game with more wits about her, and you would be wrong. While she had every right to be sore about what happened prior to the last rankings, she decided to lecture multiple players on the way they had failed/hurt her. Morally, I get where she was coming from. Strategically? This is a game about making friends and being popular, and nobody wants to be friends with someone who is constantly complaining. (Believe me! I know from experience!) Quori-Tyler making the decision to ax Autumn didn’t really help anyone’s game, but it also didn’t hurt her game, and I think that’s the math that explains that decision. But I would argue that Autumn may ultimately be the least-essential member of this cast.


I truly expected Lauren to be a major player this season. She started off as one of the most popular players, had the showmance with Kyle brewing, and a girls alliance with Olivia and Cassie. Now heading into the finale, Lauren has…pretty much nothing. She is widely dismissed by the majority alliance as a people-pleasing kiss-ass. The Kyle plot went basically nowhere. While Lauren still has a loose connection to “Olivia,” Olivia has much stronger connections elsewhere — including her former showmance, Kyle. Lauren is now playing at the bottom of the pile, and I don’t see a path forward for her. I assumed a gamer/streamer, whose entire livelihood is based on intuiting what people want to see/hear, would have dominated this game. But Lauren hit a wall about halfway through and never figured out how to maneuver around it. I’m not even convinced she knew the wall was there.

Jordan/”Big J”

What a falling off was had. I was very excited by Jordan when he first entered the Circle on Day 6. He seemed sharp, he seemed ambitious, and his plan to play as his pre-weight-loss self to disarm others and appear as less of a threat — while cynical and size-ist — actually seems to have been a shrewd play, at least based on several of the reactions we got to his more aggressive moves these past few episodes. Because more than one of his competitors seemed shocked that “Big J,” who they took to be this harmless teddy bear, would be taking real swings. Unfortunately, I think Jordan overplayed his hand, especially in that disastrous Influencer summit with Quori-Tyler. He was not even attempting to be diplomatic, and pushed someone — the ultimate decision maker, over whom he had zero leverage — to a point where they shut down communication and just did whatever they wanted. And he was totally unsubtle in his move on Myles. I give him credit for trying to reopen communication with QT by essentially playing dead in the competition. I certainly give him credit for correctly identifying Myles as the person running this game. But I don’t see how he can win given that like half the remaining players want nothing to do with him.

April 2024 GPCD Recap Banner


Kyle’s game has improved dramatically over the past few episodes, but the big issue for Kyle is that he is never calling the shots. He’s always going along with someone else’s plans. First it was “Paul” (Caress). Then it was Myles. Then it was Quori-Tyler. And now it’s Olivia. They’re all using Kyle as a number, but does anyone truly like Kyle, or do they just see him as someone to keep close so that they can get boosted up the rankings? I think Kyle will make it to the Top 3, but I will be stunned if he wins this. He’s just not making enough moves on his own.


As I think I said last time: I do not like Myles, but I respect the game he has played. Myles has been running strong pretty much from the get go, and even when he’s unsuccessful in his moves, he does a great job pivoting and moving on. The Tres Fuego alliance is the dominant power in this game, and currently makes up half the Circle. He’s one of the two power players in it. But has he played TOO hard TOO obviously? I think maybe he has. At this point, thanks to Jordan but also people just realizing it on their own (“Olivia”), it’s pretty clear that Myles is a major threat, and the only way to win is to take him out. And I suspect that is precisely what will happen when we resolve the Episode 12 cliffhanger. Maybe I’m wrong! If Myles makes it to the finals, he could win based on his strong connections to Quori-Tyler and Kyle. Especially if Jordan is no longer there to tank his ratings…


As much as I respect Myles’ game, I respect Quori-Tyler’s more. She is making big moves and excellent alliances, but she’s doing so with a grace that Myles lacks. She’s chiseling her way through the competition while Myles is a wrecking ball. That means that she still has tremendous power due to her Tres Fuego alliance, as well as looser connections to the non-Fuego players, and she has a lower threat level than Myles. If this competition was a meritocracy, I would give her the win for the season. The only time I questioned her gameplay was when she shut down the influencer session with Jordan. I get why she did it, but there had to be a better way to handle that instead of nuking her relationship with one of her fellow players. But overall she’s played a great game and is absolutely a threat to win it all.


That said, my pick to win right now is Brandon/”Olivia.” Brandon started out the game fumbling into early success, and then had a period of crisis where the tide started to turn. But since the Ride-or-Die twist, Brandon has really started to play the game shrewdly, understanding how to use Myles to create relationships with other, less ethically dubious players, and shoring up relationships with other players like Kyle. It’s not an accident that Olivia was the secret final influencer going into the last group of episodes. Whatever concerns people had about her have largely evaporated, especially since bigger threats like Myles, QT, and Jordan are pulling everyone’s focus. That puts Olivia in a terrific position going toward the finale. If I were her, I would use her blocking power to oust Myles from the game, which also cripples the Tres Fuegos alliance, and Quori-Tyler in particular. Olivia can ride the connection with Kyle to the top, and count on more support from Lauren and Jordan than either of the remaining players can muster. It would also be a great narrative for the show to have the unassuming catfish take the win. But we’ll see!

We’ll find out who wins Season 6 of “The Circle” this week! Tell us YOUR pick in the comments.

Newsletter Banner

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments