This Is Exactly Who Won The Circle & Why

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for the Circle season 1 finale
After two astoundingly quick weeks, Netflix reality show The Circle has come to an end. Although the final six contestants submit their final scores in penultimate episode “The Last Rating,” viewers don’t learn the winner of the streaming social experiment — and $100,000 — until the closing seconds of the appropriately-titled season 1 finale, “Finale.”

The Circle champ is: Joey, a man who entered the game by screaming “Yeah, buddy” like he was Pauly Delvecchio’s long lost cousin from Buffalo. As we reached the end of Circle’s inaugural season, the writing was all over the wall that Joey would be the series’ inevitable winner. 
Host Michelle Buteau crowns Joey the king of the The Circle after what can best be described as an hour-long reunion episode. Gameplay wraps in “Last Rating,” leaving the contestants to get to know each other IRL and debrief in “Finale.” The episode opens with a face-to-face “Circle Chat,” which is basically a small dinner party for the remaining cast. Everyone is so happy to see Joey enter the room that half of them jump up to greet him. 
Once the final in-person “Circle Chat” is done, the show moves to a traditional reunion-style set. Buteau checks in with all the blocked contestants and has a long-form interview with each of the remaining players. During this section, Buteau points out that Joey betrayed two separate women — reformed catfish Sean and love interest Miranda — during the competition. Still, no one is all that upset with him. Miranda still wants to go out with Joey. His popularity is undeniable. 
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
These conversations bring the top five to the results of the final rating, which will announce the winner. Seaburn, who played as catfish Rebecca, comes in fifth; Chris comes in fourth, Sammie comes in third, and it is between Shubham and Joey for first place (the person whose name isn’t called will be in second). 
This is the moment Joey learns he has won and will take home $100,000 to celebrate. Ever the family man, we already know Joey plans to spend the money on his parents, an in-need aunt, and the new apartment he recently secured. Considering the fact Miranda was fanning herself while looking at footage of her kiss with Joey, it seems likely he will spend some of that cash on a date with his Circle crush.
The entire The Circle crew is happy for Joey and crowds around him to close out the season.
Two big moments leading up to “Finale” suggest Joey is the one to beat. The first arrives in tenth episode “Declare Your Rival,” when he is awarded Superinfluencer status in the second-to-last round of Ratings. Not only does that mean Joey was performing particularly well going into the finale, but that he was given the most power out of everyone in The Circle. As the Superinfluencer, Joey alone is tasked with choosing which player to eliminate. He chooses Sean because he doesn’t “know where he stands” with her, as he explains during “Finale.” This is a move that solidifies Joey’s connections with primary allies like Shubham, Chris, and Sammie, who are now primed to rate him better in the final round. 
“The Final Rating” teases that Joey’s decision will work out for him. It is confirmed that Chris gives Joey his first place rating. It is heavily suggested that new guy Ed gives Joey, his favorite person in The Circle, his top spot as well. We know this because two people whom Ed appreciates far less than Joey — Chris and Sammie — get his second and fourth rating, respectively. Joey is the only person Ed could have rated better than both Chris and Sammie. It is also hinted Shubham gave Joey his first spot. Shubham spent his time in The Circle calling “Rebecca” his best friend — but he still awarded her second place. That suggests Shubham saved the winning position for his BFF Joey. 
That means, at minimum, half of The Circle probably gave Joey a No. 1 ranking. Editing suggests Sammie also awarded him a favorable rating, even if he wasn’t in her top spot. Only “Rebecca,” it appears, rated Joey towards the bottom of their list, naming him fourth out of five competitors. 
With supporters like these, it’s no surprise Joey won The Circle. Party at his house — and Seaburn probably isn’t invited.
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