'The Circle' Season 6 Spoilers! Lauren LaChant Was Surprised By the Strategy of Her Cast

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Warning! The interview below contains spoilers for all of Netflix’s The Circle Season 6, which aired in April and May. Please do not continue if you do not wish to be spoiled on who was blocked in those episodes.

Lauren LaChant came into The Circle with the first five seasons in the back of her mind. As such, the former Twitch streamer had one tactic: Be nice and genuine to everybody, rate highly due to likability, and take home $100,000. That worked out for Lauren initially, as she made a great first impression and became one of the first influencers of the season. However, it became clear soon after that Season 6 of The Circle would be very different than what came before it. And when Lauren lost two of her closest allies, one of them being revealed to be AI, in one day, it was clear this would be far from an easy road.

This season, strategy prevailed over likability, and ratings were made based on alliances over vibes. And so Lauren’s congenial attitude got perceived as duplicitous, and she even got called”two-faced” by “Paul” (AKA Caress Alon). Of course, it didn’t help her reputation when she did things like cast a negative light on her “Ride or Die” Autumn Ann Nielsen, prompting a pile-on and an upset reaction from Autumn. Generally, though, Lauren’s social standings did help take her to the finale, though only so far. Lacking many deep one-on-one relationships in the endgame, she finished in fifth place.

Read on to hear Lauren’s thoughts on her time in the game. And check out Parade.com throughout The Circle Season 6 with the various players and catfishes alike.

Related: The Circle Season 6: Everything You Need to Know

What’s your history with The Circle? How did you end up getting on the show?
I was a big fan of The Circle in Seasons 1 and 2. I loved it. I was never really a reality TV person until The Circle came out. It was so different from other reality shows. And I loved it. And so I always thought, “I could be on this. I could do this.” And actually, I think in Season 3 or 4, they had a Twitch streamer on, Jacki. And when I saw that, I was like, “Oh, they already have my archetype. I’ll never apply. I’m never gonna get on. I can’t do it.” And so I was so discouraged, until I saw a TikTok two years later saying, “We need people for The Circle.” And I was just like, “It would be silly if I just tried again.” And I happened to get it! And it was like, “Wow, I’m gonna be on one of my favorite shows. This is surreal.”

Let’s fast-forward to the end of the game. What was your reaction to coming in fifth place in the final ratings? What did you think your chances were of winning?
I didn’t think I would get fifth. I did think that Jordan would have placed under me because I’d been there much longer. I thought at least I’d get third or something. But I knew that Olivia was a really strong player and QT also. So I thought that they had a better chance to win than I did. I had hope, though. I did have hope going into it. But being fifth, I was like, “Okay, alright. At least I made it to the finale.” I’m happy with what I did. And I played the best that I could.

Do you remember your final ratings at all? We see you rate Jordan first because, to your point, you thought he had the least possible chance of winning.
No, I don’t remember too much. I wish I did. I thought I put Olivia first. I guess I put Jordan first. I put Olivia second, though. Because if I didn’t win, I wanted Olivia to win, because she was just so lovely. And I don’t think they showed it. But we had some chats about how she had gone through bullying before in her life and experienced people just being mean to her. And I really like resonated a lot with her story. And so I felt like she was most genuine regardless of if she was a catfish or not. I think I ended up maybe putting QT next, or Kyle. I don’t remember. I wish I did. I thought that Kyle and I had a great relationship, so I must have put him higher. But little did I know. [Laughs.]

Let’s talk about that. Because Kyle serves as a great example of your perception this season. You clearly thought you were getting along well and flirting with him, not knowing that he and Paul thought you were two-faced and playing them. In general, due to how strategic and cutthroat this season was, I think people saw your desire to be nice and genuine to everyone as a red flag that you must be hiding something and conniving behind their backs. What was your reaction to finding that out?
Coming to the finale and finding out that everybody was strategic and everybody thought I was two-faced, I thought we were all just being silly and friends! Honestly I know it’s a game. But I went in just not really caring too much about strategy. I want to take it back to the original Circle where, if people like me, then I will get higher up and I will win. And I just wanted to go along with that. So I was surprised, but not too surprised. Because I know it’s a game, and I know that people like really wanted to be as strategic as possible to win. So not too surprised, but it was silly.

Well it certainly doesn’t help when one of the most genuine relationships you make this season turns out to be with an AI contestant! Talk to me about building your dynamic with Max, and your reaction to finding out he wasn’t real.
Max was my bestie! I thought we were best friends. I loved Max. And to hear that he was AI and Steffi getting voted out in the same episode was just crushing to me, because they were my closest alliances. And I really thought that Max and I were gonna be besties out after The Circle too. I was so excited. It’s somebody that I just instantly clicked with. And I feel like they put a dog in there because they knew that I’d pick a dog. And so it was sad. But I did last pretty long without him. So I’m not too upset.

Let’s talk about some of your key relationships with real people in The Circle. You had such an up-and-down dynamic with Paul AKA Caress. You’re upfront to him about suspecting he was AI, which then makes him suspicious of you and paints you as two-faced. When you come to him for support, he leads you along, showing he still doesn’t trust you. And then, after being blocked, Caress tells Kyle that you had been flirting with them both, which makes Kyle feel a certain way. What’s your reaction to the journey you two had?
I thought that if I came out right away and said to Paul, “I think you’re the AI,” instead of when we do have to announce who we think is the AI and kind of surprising him, coming in nice and then flipping on him, he would think I’m fake, and it would not be genuine. But it turned out to be that way anyway. Not everyone’s gonna like you. Not everyone’s gonna see your efforts as what they are. So I’m proud of myself for just trying my best and trying to show Paul, “I respect you. Even if you’re a real person, and even if you’re an AI. But I do think that there’s something wrong. There’s something off there. And I just want to present that to you so you know where I’m coming from.” It backfired as well. [Laughs.] But I think that regardless, it would have. So I’m proud of the way that I went forward with it.

I want to talk ride or dies. Let’s start with your strategic one in the form of Olivia. Talk to me about how you formed such a tight bond, and what was your reaction to finding out Olivia was really Brandon?
So my philosophy is, I think that regardless if you want to be somebody else online or a catfish, as long as you’re being genuine and who you want to be. I love Brandon for who he is. I was surprised, but also not too surprised. Because I kind of sensed something. But I don’t care whoever is behind the picture. Brandon was just so beautiful and genuine as a person and still is. Every single time I post something Brandon will comment the most beautiful comments on everything. He’s such a beautiful person. And it was great because Brandon was catfishing as just pictures. Otherwise, Brandon was himself. So our connection stayed strong and got even better after.

Now let’s move to your literal “Ride or Die” in Autumn. During the Circle Scenarios game, you decide to say she’s the most likely to buy likes, something that clearly upset her and made her feel like it started a dogpiling on her by the other players. When you tried to explain yourself, she told you straight-up that she didn’t understand your logic, and clearly you felt guilty about how it made her feel. Talk to me about that.
Yeah, that’s a big one. Honestly, I was under a lot of pressure in that moment. And I had no idea who to pick. And I still look back at it now. I have no idea who else I would have picked. Maybe Jordan, because Jordan and I didn’t know each other. But I wanted to build an alliance with Jordan, and that would have squished it. So I put Autumn because we had just talked right before, and I figured nobody knew her. So if I just kind of put her there, it wouldn’t mean anything. Also, I think personally, buying likes is not a bad thing! If you want to buy likes when you start out, it’s a cutthroat world out there in social media. So I’m not going to shame anybody for doing that. But then it kind of it backfired again. Because everybody saw Autumn on there and just kind of jumped on the train. And I did not mean to hurt her. And seeing her reaction, seeing that I even made her cry like that, it made me so sad. I was really upset that I hurt her so badly. And I reached out to her. I texted her just like, “Hey, again, here’s my reasoning, I’m sorry. And I’m excited to see you in LA and get to know you in a real way.”

What I do find interesting is, as much as you talk about being surprised at how strategic everyone else was, there were still moments when you were tactical. For example, when you find out that Jordan had been spreading lies about Myles to turn you against him, you still admit that you’re “Team Jordan” because you agree with him that Myles is a threat. That sounds pretty gamey to me!
Yeah, So towards the end, because I knew that there was “Tres Fuegos.” That was a big group; the three of them were really close knit. I didn’t think if I just played into letting Myles and QT keep winning, that I didn’t have any chance to even make it into the finale. And so I just at that point was like, “Okay, if I’m not running these big strategic games, I’m kind of helping with it. I’m still being genuine, but I’m helping my game as well.” So I’m glad I wasn’t leading this whole thing against Myles. But I needed to somehow push myself as much as I could. And so I had definitely played into it.

Even though you’re not a big reality TV person, has your time on The Circle given you interest in going on other shows?
I thought about it. So the game Among Us, I hated it in the beginning. It is so stressful, because you have to lie. You have to  fake it to your friends. But the more I played it, and the more I got better at realizing the strategy of it, I liked playing Among Us a little bit more. So now I’ve played The Circle, I might try something else. But I’m not gonna say I’m gonna be good at it. [Laughs.] I’m gonna stress about it. I’m going to sweat about it. But I would try it. Why not? I put myself out there. [Laughs.]

Next, check our interview with The Circle Season 6 fourth-place finisher Jordan Staff.

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