One of the joys of watching reality competition shows is seeing new elements, adding new dimensions to the game and offering avenues for new ways of playing. Sometimes, that means new twists: Hidden Immunity Idols were introduced in Season 11 and the “Shot in the Dark” mechanic in Season 41, and both have totally shifted the way players vote during tribal council. Other times, individual players provide new models for intricate strategy: Big Brother’s Nakomis Dedmon pioneered the “backdoor” strategy that became commonplace after its first use in Season 5.

While Netflix’s social media competition series The Circle might not feel as strategy-intensive as those longer-running series, it has undergone its own evolution since its debut, retaining its relaxed hang-out feel while featuring much more deliberate strategizing. In the show’s sixth season, former NBA and NFL dancer Quori-Tyler (QT) Bullock became the latest player to push that envelope: by consciously manipulating her fellow players, even during seemingly trivial icebreaker games, she carefully maneuvered her way to the end. From forming the Tres Fuego alliance to shutting down secret Influencer Jordan Staff by refusing to block who he wanted to block, Bullock is unquestionably one of the series’ most powerful puppet masters—a phrase she has used to describe herself since the first episode. It’s no wonder her threat level prevented her from clinching the win, ending in third place.