Who is Freddie Bentley? The Circle’s gay contestant ‘playing it straight’
Channel 4’s new game show, The Circle, was bound to raise some eyebrows. Its convoluted plot revolves around social media, with strangers interacting with each other, only seeing what the others want them to see.
The game’s complicated rules is dividing audiences after only five episodes, and one of its contestants in particular, Freddie, is getting very mixed reactions.
The Circle is a social experiment passing for a game show that emulates Big Brother, if Big Brother took place solely on Twitter.
The game’s eight contestants don’t actually meet, but instead interact on the game’s social media platform (the aforementioned Circle). One contestant gets evicted (or blocked), leaving the other to fight for the show’s prize of £50,000.
While some play as themselves, two contestants introduced completely fictitious characters (aka catfishes) to trick their fellow Circle participants.
Freddie, a 20-year-old call centre worker from Essex, is, according to himself, as “camp” as it gets. While he is gay and proud, in the game, he is “playing it straight” in order to win.
By his own admission, Freddie has the “habit of going after straight guys” and “wants what he can’t have.”
Freddie decided to hide his homosexuality on Channel 4’s new show because he feels he “carr[ies] a stereotype, especially when meeting females, new females,” and wants audiences to get to know the real him, and not see him as a “gay best friend.”
Freddie feels “being gay is a very minor part of [his] life,” and will hold back the “opinionated” side of his personality.
“I can’t find anybody to like who I am. There are a lot of people where I live who are gay, doesn’t necessarily mean I want to be with them. I normally go for the wrong guys,” he said.
The biggest challenge for Freddie will be if there’s a sexy man in The Circle and he blows his own cover.
If he goes on to win the prize money, Freddie will most likely open a clothing line: “I love clothes, fashion is my passion, it’s an industry that I would definitely like to work in.”
“I would want to go on holiday with my family and on holiday with my friends. I’d also like to get my teeth done, I’d fly out to Turkey to get a couple of veneers; they’re half the price there!”
Hilarious or annoying?
So far, Freddie is loved and hated equally by the show’s audience, with some hoping he’ll go on to win the programme, and others praying for his demise.
The main criticism seems to be that Freddie is too loud.
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But others seem receptive to the young contestant’s humour.
Only time will tell which way it is going to go.