The winner (or winners?) of The Circle dishes on drama-filled season 2 and relationship with cast now
Warning: This article contains spoilers about the season 2 finale of Netflix's The Circle.
The Circle's second season was its most dramatic installment yet. Filmed in late fall, the social media competition took it up a notch with twists and turns, tear-inducing challenges, even more catfishes — oh, and Lance Bass. Now, we've finally crossed the finish line (or should we say "#WeMadeIt to #TheCircleFinale #JFTF"?) and River, Trevor, John, Courtney, and Chloe have made their final rankings. The top influencer, who took home $100,000, was revealed to be... Trevor, a.k.a. Deleesa St. Agathe!
Deleesa, who hails from the Bronx, New York, catfished as her real-life husband Trevor, portraying him as a single father. She impressed viewers with her personality, her strategy to flirt with Chloe to further her game, and her meticulous preparation (have you seen her notebook?). Still, some of her own fans thought a catfish couldn't make it to the end (Joey Sasso won season 1 playing himself).
Speaking from her new house near Atlanta (her Circle goal came true!) on Tuesday, the bubbly, funny, and self-described mompreneur chatted with EW via Zoom about why she thinks she was able to score the top-ranking and secure that bag. Plus, she revealed what else she wrote in the notebook, her relationship with her castmates now, and if there are more reality TV competitions in her future.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First, I have to congratulate you!
DELEESA ST. AGATHE: Thank you!
Being in the Top 2 with Chloe in the finale, how confident did you feel about your chances?
When it came down to final, final ranking, I absolutely thought I had no chance whatsoever. What I would consider my alliance or people that would rank me higher — Mitchell, Khat — [were Blocked]. I had Chloe, but I also couldn't figure out how close Chloe was with River and Courtney. So throughout the entire game, I still felt like a wild card with her. Because we're flirting and stuff, but then at the same time, she has her good best friends. She was calling Emily [played by Jack] her best friend for a while. So I didn't know exactly where I stood with her. And then John was another wild card because he was cool, but he also didn't really seem to make a deep connection with me.
It seems like it was a mixture of people ranking with their head and their heart. Looking back now, how do evaluate their choices?
Talking to my castmates afterward and trying to figure out where their head was at, I think Chloe wanted me to [win]; I think her rating was genuine, right? I think she rated with her heart, and she felt like, "You know what, I can see Trevor putting this money to use." I feel like everybody else was strategic about it. It was more so like, "I don't think Trevor really has a shot, but in case he does have a shot, I wouldn't be mad if he won." It was a mixture, right, of love for Trevor and then a mixture of, "He's not gonna win, so this is going to help my game a little bit."
I was on Reddit and the show's subreddit —
Me too, girl! I've been seeing everything online. [Laughs]
So many commenters said they loved Deleesa and that you're their favorite player... but that you wouldn't win. Did you see any of those comments?
Oh, I see everything. I'm so nosy. I'm extremely competitive. And I like to challenge myself, and I knew going in as the catfish was a challenge. When I get to read all these comments and people's thought process on my gameplay, I'm like, "Oh, how could I make it better?" Not that I'm ever gonna get to do it again. But it's still interesting to know, like, "Oh, okay, this is where I messed up, this is where I could have done something differently." My mind is constantly working. I still feel like I'm in The Circle, honestly.
Of course, it worked out in the end for you, but do you think you should have done anything differently? Do you have any regrets?
If I was to ever do another competition game like that, I would do things differently. I would try to build alliances in the beginning. But I don't regret anything, obviously. I think I played it very well because it's all about your personality and people getting to know you. Even though I was Trevor's face, the whole purpose of the game is to be the most popular, right? And for people to like you for who you are as a person deep down inside. People liked me, they didn't hate me, they didn't see me as a threat, I was just kind of their sidekick for most of the game. I mean, that's fine with me! It took me to the end, girl, I'm not gonna complain.
Speaking of another reality show, I saw someone ask you on Twitter about The Challenge. Is that something you'd do in the future?
I was like, "Of course, I will definitely do it." I'm competitive; Trevor's competitive too. And that show, we've been watching for years. But it was so interesting to see that people think that I can go from a show like The Circle where you're basically in an apartment the entire time by yourself — playing strategically, but it's nothing physical — to go to a game like that where you're playing strategically and physically.
Would you do it with Trevor or by yourself?
We'll see, the problem is we have our daughter. We can't both be away from her. So one of us would probably have to go. Either he goes, and then I can go or vice versa, or whatever. We compete against each other all the time. So both of us would definitely go, no questions about it.
Are you still in touch with your other cast members?
We are. We're all in a group chat; we all talk every single day. We're all really good friends. It's amazing; we're all trying to help each other with different ventures that we have going forward outside of The Circle. And at the end of the day, you have to remember people are competing to win a lot of money. People have done so much worse in real life for less money. This is a show, and we all came to play, we all came to provide entertainment, be our true selves, and I think we all did that, and none of us really take anything to heart — most of us.[Laughs] Afterwards, it was all like, "Oh my God, you did it, you look so good, you played that game, you tricked me!" It's great; I made lifelong friends.
Will the real Trevor ever meet Mitchell or Chloe, in real life?
Oh, I can't wait for him to meet Chloe. I am living for that moment. Oh my God, it's gonna be uncomfortable for both of them. I'm just gonna be sitting there like [laughing]. But Chloe, she's on the other side of the world, so we have to wait a while. Mitchell, they actually spoke; they haven't met at all yet. Most of the cast is on the West Coast, and we're on the East Coast, so it's hard for us to meet. But I do plan on having a video chat with Mitchell and Trevor and recording it so that they can actually talk and be cool.
How far do you think you would've made it, had you come into The Circle as yourself?
I would have loved to think that I would've made it to the final, but I don't think so. I think someway, somehow, I would have been dragged into some type of drama. I think for a guy, it's just so much easier to remove yourself out of that. When I had that conversation with Lance and Lance was asking me, "Oh, what's going on with the girls?" And I'm just like, "Oh, that's girl drama. That's a girl fight, I don't know." So if that was me, if I was having that conversation with Lance, I feel like it would have been taken differently. It would have been like, "Oh, she knows, and she's not telling me," or "Now she's spreading gossip." So I definitely think I would have gotten out at least midway.
There was definitely a lot of drama this season. What moment in The Circle had you the most shook?
When I was in there, with that whole Terilisha and Savannah drama, I didn't know where that really came from, how that transpired. I was guessing that it was kind of because she saved me, but I didn't know for sure, and nobody was telling me anything. I just started seeing them throwing jabs at each other. I was like, "Oh, s---, what the hell is going on?"
I kind of felt bad watching it because I'm like, "Damn, I hope I didn't contribute to Savannah losing her chance of winning this money." But then I'm like, "It's okay, because she made that decision, and it wasn't only because she had a bond with Trevor. She also did it because that was part of her gameplay." So that made me feel a little bit better. [Laughs]
In your group chat, are Terilisha and Savannah doing okay?
Savannah and Terilisha, they're both amazing, beautiful women. They're very strong. They're very independent and opinionated. I can't speak for them. So I talked to Savannah and I've talked to Terilisha. I don't know what they do when they're not talking to me.
Can we talk about your notebook of Trevor stats — you had pages and pages of notes! What other stuff did you have in there that we didn't see on the show?
[Pulling out notebook] Yes, what do I have here? "I am Trevor," that's the first thing I have at the top. I have his tattoos. I have haircuts, clothing, different types of sneakers that he wears, beer and alcohol. Different types of cars, because I don't know much about cars. Music, rappers. Oh now, the sports sections are crazy. I have all the sports: NBA, NFL, MLB. Old school players, baseball, their rules, how you play the game. I have workout information. I have 2K on here, I have the logos on here, LeBron and how many rings he got. And I still have more.
I know some viewers and commenters have taken issue with you inferring Emily was a guy because she talked about sports, or other players making conclusions about gender off small details. Do you think that's valid or an overreaction?
Yeah, I've seen that a lot. I definitely think they're overreacting. And I mean, I get it, being who you are is near and dear to your heart. I meant that the way the conversations flowed and the details that he was giving me — or she was giving me — sounded more like it came from a guy. I'm a whole feminist; I know girls can do anything a guy can do and better. If you think about the game in general, you're pretending to be somebody else, and people are constantly trying to figure out by any little means necessary, "Is it this person, is it not this person?'"
What's your advice for the next season of players?
Don't worry about looking mean or playing a game; being strategic. You're coming in to get money, and that should be your main focus. But as much as you can be, try to be yourself. Because if you're being super fake, personality-wise, it's going to radiate through, and people are going to know. So be yourself, have fun, but play that game because you comin' for the money! I mean, I hope.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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The Circle (TV series)