Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for Season 3 of The Circle.
Netflix's social media reality series, The Circle, is officially back for Season 3, and viewers are already connecting with the contestants as they compete for $100,000. The show may feature a lot of deception, but some of the fan favorite players are the ones who are the most honest and real.
One Season 3 star who stole viewers' hearts as soon as she was introduced is Michelle Rider. Many thought that the South Carolina native could win the show, but her time was cut short after a jaw-dropping twist.
Read on to learn more about Michelle's background — including her surprising social media experience — and to find out how she ended up being the first real player to get eliminated.
Michelle Rider from 'The Circle' performs comedy under the name Shelly Belly.
The 52-year-old mom of four hails from Pacolet, South Carolina. Though she does have Southern charm, Michelle isn't afraid to be cutthroat when necessary. From the start of the show, she intended on portraying her true dog-loving self on her Circle profile.
Outside of the Netflix series, Michelle works as an Executive Administrative Assistant to the Director of Operations at Belk in Jonesville, S.C. She attended Spartanburg Community College, where she obtained her Associate's Degree in Business Management.
In addition to her regular job, Michelle is a comedian. Her @ShellyBellyComedy TikTok account has more than 758,000 followers, a number that will surely rise as more people watch Season 3 of The Circle.
She also showcases her comedy chops on her Shelly Belly Comedy YouTube page, which has nearly four thousand subscribers.
'The Circle' Season 3 star was blocked and eliminated after the Capra sisters impersonated her.
While Michelle's sense of humor and her positive disposition won over many viewers, her time on Season 3 was cut short during the third episode.
Sisters Ava Marie and Chanel Marie Capra, who are competing as a team, got blocked at the end of the season premiere. Instead of getting eliminated, the siblings were able to select one other player to impersonate. They picked Michelle.
The other contestants then interacted with Orange Michelle (the real Michelle) and Blue Michelle (the Capra sisters).
In order to try to suss out the identity of the real Michelle, the players asked both profiles if they would let their dogs kiss them on the mouth. Though the real Michelle had portrayed herself to be an avid dog person, she answered no.
The response didn't seem to fit in with what the others knew about Michelle, so all of the other Season 3 stars voted to block her. The competitor was then eliminated from the show, and her impersonators were allowed to stay.
Though the sisters essentially took away Michelle's opportunity to win the cash prize, the Southerner isn't bitter at all about what happened.
"It's just a game, and you're there for a purpose," she shared with Entertainment Tonight about how she felt about the twist. "People aren't being mean or anything like that. They traveled a long way to get there and you have to do what you have to do, no matter how sweet of a person you are."
Michelle may not be winning the show, but she certainly did win viewers over.
New episodes of The Circle Season 3 drop on Wednesdays on Netflix.