Terilisha Says Being Part of the ‘Myspace Generation’ Helped Her on The Circle<\/em>
The following story contains spoilers for Season 2 of Netflix’s The Circle.
If you’re reading this, then you, too, are likely second-guessing every person you follow on social media after watching the current season of The Circle. And boy, has it been a ride. We’ve witnessed a 42-year-old personal assistant catfish the group as N’Sync’s own Lance Bass, a 58-year-old romance novelist pose a 20-something-year-old free spirit, and Chloe…just being Chloe!
If this season has taught us anything so far, it’s that guessing what’s going to happen next is, well, a lot like competing on The Circle. Just ask Terilisha, who, after a strong start, ended up getting the boot early. Fresh off her elimination, Men’s Health spoke to the singer/teacher about her no-nonsense gameplay strategy, production secrets, and tension with castmate Savannah that inevitably spelt her downfall.
What was your strategy going into The Circle?
My strategy, obviously, was to be myself and to build a team. I wanted to get across that you can be an influencer without playing dirty, without lying, without cheating, without stealing. I knew that’s what I wanted to do to go in and win The Circle by simply being myself being honest. Even though I didn’t make it to the end, I didn’t have to manipulate anyone or throw anybody under the bus.
Your elimination was surprising, given that you were just an influencer. Now knowing what you know now, how would you have changed your gameplay?
I don’t think I would because my elimination wasn’t me. It wasn’t something that I did wrong. It wasn’t that I [was] playing the game wrong. My elimination was just an attack on me. There was nothing I could have done. The water was poisoned.
You versus Savannah: Are you surprised by how that unfolded?
Yes, I was absolutely surprised. That’s not what I wanted. That girl was my number one. I was like, Girl, we’re gonna get to the end of this together. But once we got to the influencer chat, I just saw a different side of her. It was disappointing even watching it back.
Would you and Savannah ever become friends?
Only the future can can tell. I’m open to that. Right now, I just respect the space that is currently there.
Have you guys had a chance to speak since the show wrapped?
We’re actually are all in a group chat, so we all talk all the time.
What do you guys talk about in the chat?
Our lives are so crazy since The Circle has been released, so we kind of just send each other screenshots of, like, the things people are saying and regular stuff, just like any other friend group chat.
Did you have any inkling about who was a catfish or were you in the dark up until your elimination?
I knew all of the catfishes. I wish they would have shown it because I caught Trevor out immediately. And with Lee, after the poetry slam thing, I was like, this is not a young kid. This is probably an old ass man.
What did you think of Lance Bass joining the show?
I wish they showed my reaction to Lance a.k.a Lisa. When he started in on the NSYNC tour, I called her out so fast. You will not put your own money towards an NSYNC tour, especially with Justin Timberlake in the damn group.
So you knew it wasn’t Lance?
Absolutely, especially with the pictures that she was uploading. But when it came down to me and her when I got blocked, I thought it was going to be her going home. I was like, Why is he here? He doesn’t need the money. Send him home. I was so shocked.
What was Lisa’s reaction to you finding out her real identity?
Well, we actually were all on the plane all together back. She was like, I thought I was playing the game. I was like, No, girl. You were not.
What was it like to be on lockdown…while on global lockdown?
I was prepared. We were used to it by then. The only difference is, once you’re in the game, you’re not alone because you are in This Circle platform and you are playing the game from the moment you enter that door. Maybe, had the pandemic not happened, it might’ve been overwhelming.
I think people have a lot of questions about production: Where do you go immediately after you leave The Circle building?
To an apartment you have while we’re there because we had to stay through the finale. You’re there for four or five weeks.
On any given day, how much time do you guys spend actually chatting and playing the game?
We’re literally playing for hours. The cameras are 24/7. When you go back and watch, you’ll see it’ll goes from day to night outside.
What do you guys do for fun when you aren’t competing or chatting?
We can still go to the yoga room or workout. I like to read, so I was reading or just chilling out [and] relaxing. It was so stressful that you kind of needed a time when you weren’t competing or chatting to just chill. Plus, we needed time to cook, you know. We gotta eat.
Are you able to hear anything that goes on in the hallways?
I did not. We wear protective gear anytime we’re outside of the apartment. And we’re escorted everywhere. It’s very well-insulated. They probably had soundproofing. There’s a lot of screaming but you never hear it.
Are you able to talk to producers?
Not really, they just listen. If we need help with something, like, I need some headache medicine, you’ll hear a knock at the door and there will be medicine. There wasn’t a lot of mixed interaction.
Was there a routine to your time there? Like, on this day, someone would get blocked, on this day, you rate each other…
No day was the same. We don’t have clocks. I [didn’t] even know what time we were getting up. The Circle would say good morning, so I didn’t know if it was eight in the morning, one in the afternoon. I had no idea. And the alerts really catch you off-guard.
Do you look at social media the same way now that you’ve been on The Circle?
I’ve always had a healthy understanding of what social media was. I’m 34. I’m also a teacher. I’m a member of the Myspace generation, so this is not new. I will say that I did not realize how big the trolling community it is. You should see some of my DMs. They say they hate me, you know, the normal troll behavior. I hate that it’s normalized, but it is what it is. I know who I am as a person. When I say I don’t give a f***, I really don’t care.
This interview was condensed for content and clarity.
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