What The Circle’s first blocked contestant means for season 2

THE CIRCLE Bryant Wood stars in season 2 of THE CIRCLE. Cr. Netflix ©2021
THE CIRCLE Bryant Wood stars in season 2 of THE CIRCLE. Cr. Netflix ©2021 /

Alert: The first four episodes of the new season of social media reality competition The Circle dropped on Netflix this week, and the drama is already through the roof. A brand new group of wannabe influencers has joined the chat for season 2, including a couple of familiar faces. (Sort of.)

Chloe Veitch, a previous contestant on one of Netflix’s other popular summer reality series Too Hot to Handle, is taking part in this round of the game, as well as international pop star Lance Bass. Okay, that last part’s not strictly true – though someone is playing the game as the former *NSYNC member, it’s actually his assistant Lisa Delcampo catfishing as her boss.

(This show is truly amazing, y’all.)

The first season of The Circle was remarkable in how wholesome it actually turned out to be. There were genuine friendships formed, everyone seemed to actively like everyone else, and the semi-regular blocking ceremonies were heartbreaking for all involved. For a show that advertised itself as cutthroat and bitchy, season 1 was anything but. Authenticity was the buzzword, and even the seemingly bro-y winner, Joey Sasso, turned out to be a kind Mama’s boy at heart.

Season 2 – at least thus far – doesn’t seem to be following the same path.

Who was the first person blocked from The Circle season 2?

In just four episodes, there have already been multiple catfights, several betrayals of trust, and a relationship that’s gone from BFF status to overt frenemies at lightning speed. But nothing has indicated the differences between season 2 and its predecessor like the season’s first boot: Breathing instructor Bryant Wood.

On paper, Bryant feels like a lock to make it pretty far in this game. Aggressively kind, loyal, and a great listener, everything about him feels too good to be true. In season 1, this is exactly the sort of player who would have fit right in with Shubham, Sammie, and Seaburn (who played a girl named Rebecca in the game). In season 2, he’s the first pushed out the door.

Now, you can blame poor gameplay (Bryant’s Circle Poetry Slam effort was pretty abysmal), but in a season that’s already splitting into clear factions and “sides”, it’s clear there was just no place for a player like this. Bryant was actually here to make friends, not build numbers, vote strategically, or cause drama. Several people admitted to ranking Bryant low in the ratings not because they didn’t like him, but because they saw him as a threat to their own popularity. (Weirdly, almost no one actually voted this way in season 1, or Shubham never would have lasted until the end of the game.)

This time around, the early exit of someone likes Bryant means that season 2’s players are playing a very different kind of game. One that is actually more about strategy than friendship, and performed personas over authenticity. We’ve already seen the results of this shift: There was literally nothing like that uber salty first game of Circle Truth or Dare in the entirety of season 1.  And while that was certainly incredibly entertaining to watch unfold, it also didn’t feel like The Circle we remembered, either. (Bryant would have 100% tried to defuse that situation, I think.)

Here’s hoping that in The Circle season 2’s quest for increased drama and buzzy moments to drive social media chatter, the show doesn’t forget what made it so special to watch in the first place: The genuinely heartwarming connections that formed between these strangers – which right now feels in pretty short supply in season 2.

Bye, Bryant. We hardly knew you.

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What do you think of the first few episodes of The Circle season 2? Sound off in the comments.