The Circle winner Frank Grimsley saw his mother’s ghost after the finale

The reality genre may have been built on the “I’m not here to make friends” cliche, but further The circle, which is pretty much the entire goal. And if there’s one thing, social worker and child therapist Frank Grimsley was not Concerned about entering the social media competition, he built connections with his fellow competitors.

“I could relate to anyone,” the Alabama-born Baltimore native told The Daily Beast. “I think I could relate to a tree.”

As it turned out, he was right. The circle crowned Grimsley as its fourth winner in Wednesday’s final, a conclusion that felt inevitable at the time it aired. Grimsley has been a front-runner since the start of the season, a player that the competition liked and respected even before they heard his extraordinary backstory. It’s easy to see why; Even through a screen on Google Meet, Grimsley is magnetic. His laugh is contagious and more importantly – to put aside his favorite compliment – his energy is as sunny as it gets.

But Grimsley’s decision to join The circle was anything but easy. His job, a source of stability he’d worked years to build, wouldn’t allow him time off to participate in the season – so he quit. Grimsley’s grandfather died the same day he left his job. Attending the Netflix show meant missing the funeral.

“I didn’t know how my family would take that,” Grimsley said. “It felt like I was giving up on my family to be on this competitive show.” Still, he said, “I knew I was being tested.”

As Grimsley noted during the season, he lost both of his parents at a young age, a traumatic time that prompted him to become a therapist. As a child who had suffered incredible losses, he recalled: “I was so angry. I really didn’t have anyone to talk to.” As an adult weighing career options, he began to think about what kind of support he could have used back then: “What space can I step into and give young people something I need ?

Grimsley’s time is up The circle Two more devastating losses followed immediately – his grandmother died in 2019 and his uncle passed away in 2020, a death the family was unable to commemorate with a funeral due to COVID-19.

“Sometimes things have to get really, really ugly before they get really, really pretty,” Grimsley said. Enter The circleHowever, he had faith: “I knew there will be something on the other side of this loss when I get there that will be worthwhile.”

Grimsley studied past seasons before rolling his bags inside The circle‘s cheerfully decorated quarantine homes, so his time on the show has met with few surprises – although he admits he was wrong about one thing. When he walked in, he’d assumed that a lot of the cooking was just for show and that he could actually order at least a few meals.

“No, madam!” Grimsley said with a laugh. “You can’t — you have to cook.” As someone who’d perfected a meal-planning routine to avoid having to spend every night in the kitchen, he said, “I wasn’t happy about it.”

As with any player who maintains a decidedly positive mood The circle, some of Grimsley’s competitors seemed suspicious at first that his good energy could be just a harmless facade for punching power. Over time, however, any cynicism players might have felt towards Grimsley seemed to melt away as they got to know him and heard his story.

That makes sense considering Grimsley’s main goal was to create real connections with each of his fellow players. Perhaps the most intriguing of his friendships came with a professional ghost hunter named Rachel Evans. During one of their conversations, Grimsley opened up about a deeply personal moment about seeing his mother’s ghost after her death.

As Grimsley explained during our conversation, his mother had always been a prankster. For example, when he was in elementary school, he was once crowned Fall Festival King — a title that even came with a sash. When his mother picked him up from school, he was expecting a celebration; Instead, she took him to a camp for misbehaving children so he could see what happened to children who didn’t conform. “They let us sweep the cement with toothbrushes,” he recalls, laughing. “I still had my sash on!”

For months after his mother died, Grimsley said he believed her death was some kind of prank – some kind of punishment for something horrible he had done. “I denied it was happening,” he said, until one day his mother’s ghost appeared to him while he was singing with a choir.

“She said, ‘Let go of me,'” Grimsley recalled. “That was the moment I had to let go of the idea that she was coming back.”

More than 15 years later, Grimsley said he recently had a second encounter with his mother The circle Step by step towards its premiere. “‘I’ve wanted to talk to you for so long,'” he recalls, saying she told him, “but you weren’t ready.” Grimsley described what it was like to proudly express his mother’s spirit on him hear, “It was sort of an out-of-body experience.” The vision was a reminder of one of the greatest lessons Grimsley’s mother had ever taught him: whatever he puts his mind to, he can achieve.

Speaking of which, what’s next after he wins $100,000 (plus another $50,000 in Spice Girls bonus money)?

Alongside his work as a therapist, Grimsley has built a sizable following on social media, although he no longer describes himself as an influencer, preferring the title of content creator. Whatever the term, the journey to get there was “stressful”.

“People would wonder why I would start filming and then stop,” Grimsley said of his Instagram content. Given the cost of clothing, photography, and production, he couldn’t afford to keep his content consistent while living paycheck to paycheck. Now, however, “the seeds I sowed have finally returned to me.”

Looking ahead, Grimsley isn’t ruling out another run on the small screen. But really, his goal is simple: “I want to keep making people laugh in whatever capacity God allows.” The Circle winner Frank Grimsley saw his mother’s ghost after the finale


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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