CATFISH Alex Hobern scooped £75,000 in the final episode of Channel 4s The Circle yesterday evening. Hobern, who spent the entire time pretending to be, using his real-life girlfriend’s pictures, a girl called Kate won £50,000 for topping the ratings given out by his fellow contestants and another £25,000 for being elected the ‘Viewers Champion’ by a ‘landslide’.
His victory followed 3 weeks of isolation in a flat in London with the only means of communication available to him a social media platform called The Circle. All four finalists survived the entire 3 weeks without being eliminated by their fellow contestants.
Earlier, the final four met face-to-face for the first time. Awkward scenes ensued between ‘Kate’ a.k.a Alex and Dan. The pair formed a close friendship during the 3 week show and Alex denied when asked being a catfish. Dan was at first, understandably, annoyed. He refused to shake Alex’s hand and snapped at him not to call him ‘mate’. It was the second time Dan had been catfished. He also fell for the act of Maired who far from being a 30-something woman was in fact 57. Tensions were only calmed when fellow finalists Freddy and Sian arrived. Freddy, characteristically, poured oil onto the flames, quipping that Dan had been masturbating over a “57 yo and a guy”, Sian however, smoothed things over and in doing so demonstrated how she established herself at the end of the series as a somewhat unlikely leader of the pack.
It is highly likely that Dan effectively won Alex 50k as he was the only finalist who rated honestly in the sense all the other contestants deliberately voted each other only 1 star out of a possible 5. Hobern made an exception with Dan and rated him 2*s however, Dan, if he rated in line with past practice would have given ‘Kate’ 5* winning the game for Hobern. It is therefore hard not feel sorry for Dan who was genuine throughout. Freddy ‘played it straight’ when he is in fact openly gay and although Sian told no direct lies she sought to deliberately downplay her attractiveness.
The Circle has been thoroughly enjoyable tv. The contestants are real, even when pretending to be fake, down to earth characters and we got to see them warts and all. We got to see them grow and develop. For my money, this is true of Sian more than anyone, it is hard to believe the person who entered The Circle 3 weeks ago is the same person who last night was able to use the sheer force of her presence to curb Dan’s aggression and neutralise a very volatile situation. If the ratings had been done fairly and not tactically she would probably have won the 50k.
If the ratings had been done fairly she would have won the £50k. Freddy was to Marmite as a person to succeed.