Shubham's 'The Circle' return in Season 5 was fraught with bad game moves.

8 Ways Shubham Fumbled His Circle Second Chance

How far the original runner-up has fallen.


Shubham Goel may be one of The Circle’s most beloved players ever, but his track record took a swan dive when he was brought back for Season 5. That’s not entirely his fault, though. The original season’s runner-up was forced to play completely opposite of how he thrived in Season 1, by throwing authenticity out the window and hiding behind a fake persona. Clearly, he was not ready to swim with the catfish, because Shubham’s game moves in The Circle Season 5 just got worse and worse.

Spoiler alert: This post discusses the first eight episodes of The Circle Season 5. Shubham’s triumphant return to The Circle was exciting for fans of the game, but it pretty quickly became apparent that he wasn’t going to have the stellar run he did back in Season 1. Not only was he immediately pitted against fellow newbie Tamira right upon his arrival in Episode 5, but also, his made-up catfish profile Sasha just never really connected with the others. On top of that, Shubby made some disastrous moves that all but sealed Sasha’s fate the moment she was up for elimination.

Let’s go over all the ways Shubham’s catfishing attempt went totally wrong, because there were a whole lot of them.


1. Sasha’s Confusing Bio

Although Shubham was pretty proud of Sasha’s eclectic profile, it immediately threw other players for a loop. Sam in particular didn’t buy Sasha’s claims to be a skiier and children’s book author on top of her tech blogger job. It didn’t help that Shubby picked some strange photos to feature of Sasha holding out some sand and looking lost on the roadside.

2. Failing The “Show Or Tell” Game

The twist pitting Sasha and Tamira against one another to try to get the most followers was really what did Shubham in from the get-go. Immediately, Sasha was viewed in comparison to Tamira, and when Tamira slayed the “Show or Tell” game by sharing a more inviting date night photo and a funnier embarrassing story, Sasha’s game felt like a lost cause.

3. Choosing Bruno For The Private Chat

Poor Shubby’s read on the other players’ standings in the game was way off base. He assumed Bruno had some pull in the competition, unaware that the male model was basically a loner in the game with dwindling ratings. Wasting his only private chat on Bruno before the followers competition with Tamira really only got him one vote, while Tamira’s chat with the more connected Marvin helped garner her many more followers.


4. Blocking Bruno Instead Of Jennifer

Yes, maybe aligning with Bruno was a mistake, but after forming a very tight bond with him, Shubby made the critical error of stabbing him in the back. He viewed Jennifer’s strong connection with Tom as a reason to keep her, thinking he’d get two players on his side rather than one, but he really should have seen it as two people who’d look out for each other instead of him. Blocking Bruno opened the floodgates for Shubby/Sasha, especially when the real Bruno (aka Billie-Jean) used her farewell message to call out Sasha as untrustworthy in front of everyone.

5. Burning Bridges With Chaz

Probably the most unfortunate consequence of Shubham blocking Bruno was making an enemy out of Chaz, the most popular player in the game. Shubby didn’t seem to realize it, but Chaz was Bruno’s closest ally, and when Shubham couldn’t come up with a good defense for his decision to block Bruno, Chaz wanted nothing to do with Sasha from then on. Little did Shubby know that Chaz has been on an influencer streak all season long, and his next time with the blue check would lead to Sasha’s elimination.

6. The Newbies Revolution Chat

This was Shubham’s biggest swing and biggest miss of the season. After realizing the newly added players outnumbered the original players five to four, Shubby made a bold play to try to unite the newbies. But the other new players saw through Sasha’s desperation and remained loyal to the bonds they’d already created with the originals. The newbies revolution could have been Shubby’s saving grace, but because it was such a flop, it wound up being the final nail in his coffin.


7. His “Savage Questions” Response

After the newbies revolution mess, Sasha’s days in The Circle were clearly numbered, so Shubby was done holding back. When Sasha was called out as a catfish in the “Savage Questions” game, Shubby decided to stop holding back and lash out, responding “I’m not a f*cking man.” The rest of the players were taken aback at how defensive and out-of-character the response seemed, and it pretty much confirmed everyone’s suspicions that Sasha wasn’t who she claimed to be.

8. No Emojis Or Hashtags

After his elimination, Shubby visited Jennifer (who was really Xanthi and Brett), and got the low-down on why they suspected Sasha was a catfish. For Brett, the red flag was that Sasha never used emojis or hashtags like the other players, which led Shubham to admit he never really figured those out.

So, Season 5 may not have gone his way, but Shubby will always be a The Circle legend. And honestly, it’s kind of a positive thing that he’s so bad at being a catfish. I mean, Season 1 already showed fans that he’s best at the game being his authentic self anyway.