Sure, competing on a reality show through a giant TV screen from a tiny, meticulously accessorized apartment is already pretty surreal—but The Circle’s DeLeesa St. Agathe found herself in an even crazier situation than she bargained for when, just before the series began filming, she found out she was pregnant.
“I think it was the goodbye sex,” DeLeesa told The Daily Beast during a postmortem interview for the Season 2 finale, in which she took home the grand prize. “I had to leave for a while, and we had to, you know, try to get it in one last time before I got on the plane!”
That “we” would be the YouTuber/“mompreneur” and her husband, Trevor—whose identity she borrowed for the social media-based popularity contest. Coming into The Circle, DeLeesa’s strategy was simple: Using her sales background, she would get people talking about themselves—“People love talking about themselves, right?”—and the prize would be hers in no time. She grilled Trevor about every possible stumbling block, writing down everything from the names of men’s haircuts to the brand of trimmers he buys in the notebook she brought with her on the show.
But then came the surprise challenge DeLeesa could not plan for. She and the other contestants were required to quarantine ahead of the season due to COVID-19, and toward the end of her isolation period, she began feeling sick. She knew she was pregnant, but decided to push that to the back of her mind to stay in the game.
“I didn't want anything to move my focus,” she said. “And honestly, what the hell am I going to do?”
After the pregnancy test came back positive, the show’s team offered DeLeesa the chance to tell her husband they were having a second child—but she wanted to stay completely in the game, so she kept it to herself for the weeks that followed instead. As one can imagine, this made the Circle even wilder to navigate.
“It was just a real crazy experience,” DeLeesa said. “I missed my daughter. I missed my husband. I was [playing as] a guy... And all these people are like coming at each other cutthroat. It was like, damn near Survivor.”
An increasingly popular strategy on The Circle is to try and stay in the middle of the group’s popularity rankings to avoid attracting too much attention. But as so many contestants find out, successfully threading this needle can be a challenge. At every turn, however, DeLeesa kept things strategic—paying close attention to key alliances and assessing how “Trevor” could come out on top. That she ultimately won is both gratifying and mildly surprising. (After all, she did beat out a reality star and someone posing as Lance Bass!)
For those wondering, DeLeesa has already fulfilled her one wish from the show: When asked if she and Trevor had already begun house hunting after her win, she replied, “Looking? Honey, as soon as I came back, we were on the prowl.” The couple has already purchased a newly constructed home and moved in. They’ve even posted a tour of their new place on their shared YouTube channel—one of a number that DeLeesa operates, in addition to a personal channel and a podcast channel.
Although The Circle Season 2 saw its share of drama, “Trevor” managed to steer clear of most of it. DeLeesa’s worry that Too Hot to Handle alum Chloe Veitch would be mad at her for flirting under an assumed identity dissolved during the finale, when the two finally sat down face to face. And her skepticism of Courtney Revolution—whose strategy at one point involved gently throwing Chloe under the bus to obscure his identity—likewise melted away. The season’s cast now shares a group chat, DeLeesa said. And she and the blue-haired substitute teacher slash singer-songwriter Terilisha have become best friends; the two speak almost every day.
But not all of the tensions that arose within The Circle have fully healed. Terilisha and social media influencer Savannah Palacio did not appear interested in hugging things out during the finale, after their early-season feud effectively sent both of them home.
DeLeesa released a high-pitched, distinctively uncomfortable noise when asked if Terilisha and Savannah had found a way to make nice. “Let me just say it like, most of us were able to get past the gameplay in The Circle,” she said after taking a moment to choose her words carefully. “Most of us came out and told the truth about how we played the game and our strategy. Then there’s some of us that didn’t.”
As seen in the finale, DeLeesa shared her win with Trevor—true to The Circle form—via video chat. On top of that, she’d already told both volleyball player Khat Bell and her fellow finalists about her pregnancy—so while she and Trevor spoke, all of the players began chanting, “Tell him! Tell him!” in the background. When she did, he was speechless.
In addition to her YouTube channels and her online boutique, Be Unique, DeLeesa is also working on a children’s books for her daughters. “It’s like, Black girl magic stuff,” she said. “Confidence boosters for young toddlers growing into young children, young women, young ladies.” Beyond that, she also wants to appear on television again—perhaps even in a series based around her family.
For now, however, there’s something more important to be excited about. DeLeesa said she’s due to deliver her second daughter “very soon.”
“I’m really excited about that,” she said. “Toni’s going to have a little sister, and that’s the reason why I’m in all of these avenues and channels—because I want to make sure that my children are well taken care of.”