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The Band Vs. Kai's Team — Which 'The Circle' Alliance Is Stronger?

- The Circle -
The Band Vs. Kai's Team — Which 'The Circle' Alliance Is Stronger?

The Circle Season 3 contestants are not here to make friends, and I only have one thing to say about this development: It's about time.

While there was something refreshing about the first two seasons of the Netflix reality show basking in the genuine connections and friendships that blossomed among the players, seeing the latest group get serious about playing the game is proving to be way more fun. By the end of episode eight, the remaining players have divided up into two distinct factions: The Band, led in theory by the hapless Nick, and Kai's team, which revolves around original frontrunner Kai and her day one pal Ruksana. Both teams have made some serious moves to keep their allies on top, but there's one Circle alliance that's just a tad bit stronger than the other.

So far, both The Band (which consists of Nick and his merry band of catfish Ashley/Matthew, Isabella/Sophia, and Jackson/Rachel) and Kai's group (which includes Ruksana, Daniel, and James) are making strategic moves that are paying off. By the end of this week's batch of episodes, each alliance had someone in an influencer position, and a last minute twist means Daniel and Nick can each choose someone to block without conferring with one another. That can only mean things are going to get even more cutthroat in the final leg of the season, but which alliance is going to come out on top?

The Band Is Playing The Long Game

In theory, Nick is the ringleader of The Band, but in truth, he's mostly just a figurehead for the catfish to rally around. The real puppet master is Sophia, who is wisely exploiting Nick's crush on Isabella to her advantage. Her best gameplay moment so far came when she replanted seeds of doubt about Kai in Nick's head when she sensed he was going soft on her.

Meanwhile, she and Matthew used their top spots as influencers to remove Calvin from the game, despite Nick's friendship with him. Their strategy paid off. Not only did they take out a major player and a key member of Kai's team, they also managed to strengthen their bond with Nick in the process. And that could help keep them in the game, especially since Calvin's gift of popularity helped Nick climb to the top of the ratings.

Overall, The Band is killing it in terms of strategy and block voting, which has allowed them to push both Ruksana and Kai to the bottom. Eventually, the foursome will have to start turning on one another, but for now, they're being smart and absolutely savage when it comes to playing to win.

There Are Cracks In Kai's Alliance

If this was Season 1 or even Season 2, Kai would be a lock to make it to the end. She's genuine, kind to everyone, and the just generally the kind of person who kills it on this show. Unfortunately for her, this is Season 3, and The Circle is turning into the Thunderdome. Now, her popularity is a liability, rather than an asset.

Still, Kai is a savvy player. Early on, she and Ruksana made it clear they would have each other's backs until the end. And she also allied herself with Calvin, who again, would have been a favorite to make it to the finale in seasons past.

But once Calvin was taken out of the picture, Kai's alliance took a major blow. She still has Ruksana, who has Daniel firmly on her side, but the numbers aren't in their favor. Kai and Ruksana wisely invited James into their group to help fill the void left by Calvin, but his presence wasn't enough to keep either of them from falling to the bottom of the ratings. Plus, he's definitely a wildcard who is unlikely to stick with an alliance that isn't on top.

At the moment, Kai's alliance is floundering in large part because they haven't fully grasped just how in sync The Band is. But if Daniel uses his power as an influencer to eliminate Matthew or Sophia, and Nick decides not to send Kai packing after their heart-to-heart, then they might stand a chance of overtaking the catfish crew. However, at least for now, The Band is the savviest alliance The Circle has ever seen — and Kai and company definitely shouldn't get too comfortable.

Read more...

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Images: Netflix

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