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Why The Circle's Daniel Cusimano Wasn't Surprised By The Winner Of Season 3

Daniel in The Circle

Warning! The following contains spoilers for The Circle Season 3 finale. Read at your own risk!

The Circle Season 3 is done, and for the first time in the American version of the series, the winner was someone who joined in late, as opposed to the core squad there during Episode 1. Rather, the unscripted Netflix original crowned James Andre Jefferson Jr. as the winner, which may have surprised some fans.

One person who wasn’t surprised about the winner, however, was Season 3's youngest competitor Daniel Cusimano. In an interview with CinemaBlend ahead of the finale, Cusimano told me he was not at all taken aback in seeing the big winner was not one of the eight contestants who started the season off. Specifically, I asked if Cusimano was shocked that Nick Uhlenhuth and Kai Ghost didn’t win, and Cusimano held nothing back with his colorful response, saying:

Baby, no. Nick deserves quite literally the electric chair, and I would’ve been the one who pulled the lever, bitch, c’mon. He deserved none. He didn’t even deserve to be there, and I’ve said that to his face straight up. So, he got what he deserved. And I was like [kissing noises] chef’s kiss. My girl Kai though?. . . I knew, unfortunately, this is a game about perception, so when you come as hot as she did, Influencer 1 and Influencer 2, I was like, ‘There’s no way she’ll ever win.’ So I wasn’t really expecting either one of them to win.

Daniel Cusimano saw what The Circle fans might not have: that sometimes the strongest players set themselves up for the biggest falls down the stretch. Fans shouldn’t fault themselves for not seeing James Jefferson’s win coming, though, as the victors from Season 1 and 2 were arguably the most deserving players. Joey Sasso and DeLeesa "Trevor" St. Agathe were both immensely popular throughout the entire seasons, so it made sense they won at the end.

That’s not to say James Jefferson wasn’t popular after his late-stage entry, but if we’re speaking objectively here, he wasn’t in the game as long as Kai Ghost or Nick Uhlenhuth. And since most of The Circle Season 3 revolved around Kai and Nick’s alliances they'd cultivated, including the secret alliance they made between themselves, everything made it seem like it would come down to Nick vs. Kai in crowning the winner of the most cut-throat season of the American series to date. But that clearly wasn’t the case.

Essentially, their strong games and personalities ultimately led the other players to give them low final rankings, which pushed James Jefferson to the top. Jefferson’s win essentially confirmed there’s a new way to play The Circle and win, while also spotlighting the risk of being a dominant player and decision-maker early on. Of course, the threat was always there, but this was just the first season where we saw a popular player lose because of how much they deserved to win, ironically enough. It will certainly be interesting to see how Jefferson’s win impacts future seasons and if future players use similar tactics to try and secure their own victories. And whether or not Daniel Cusimano will want to send any of those people to the electric chair.

The Circle Season 3 is available to binge in full on Netflix, which subscribers will want to do ahead of the already confirmed Season 4. Those looking for something else to watch can have a much easier time doing so by checking out some of the spectacular shows arriving in October and mark their calendars appropriately.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.