It depends on the franchise but generally the only ones with anywhere near as much strategy shit are Israel (which basically drags its seasons out to like three episodes per leg to justify the cost, meaning most legs have a voting Yield or U-Turn to fill airtime), Canada (where the tasks are much harder to counter the fact that they rarely leave Canada, causing a metric fuckload of strategic quitting that the producers haven't worked out how to disincentivise), and one season of the Australian version which was built around a network-enforced "Australia vs New Zealand" gimmick that nobody liked. All the rest? No deal. Like, they do still have the U-Turn and whatever but most non-US seasons have basically no overt strategy beyond the absolute bare minimum. Like most of the time they don't even tell us if a U-Turn is coming (unlike the US version, where it's the focus of the preview every. damn. time.) because it's such a damp squib of a twist they can't sell it effectively.
The "Will and James trying to be reality TV characters" thing would make sense because they both HAVE been on other reality shows before: James as a random midseason boot on the CW flop Capture, and Will was runner-up on one of the awful co-ed seasons America's Next Top Model was doing shortly before it got cancelled.