Hello people, this will not be a joke/Worlds Apart blog, this will be an analysis blog that will most likely get updated with another gameplay analysis after every WA episode aired...
We will start with... Tina W. (Australia)
What did she do well in this game?
Tina was very social, and was the only person to make real connections with everyone on the Ogakor tribe in the first few days. Maralyn and Kel weren't long for the game, but being the only person to make a connection with Keith would prove important for her long-term game.
Of course, it was her relationship with Colby, and her ability to bond closely with him, and then convince him to make decisions that weren't in his interest but were in her interest (choices that he often otherwise wouldn't have made without her active influence), that is the story of the season. The first time was at the Mitchell vote. Jerri's alliance with Colby, Amber and Mitchell was dominating Ogakor and the old folks were being thinned out, with Tina being the next to go.
Savvy about Mitchell's past vote, Tina organized a 3-vote tiebreaker elimination, sending Jerri's pawn Mitchell packing, and, taking a critical vote away from Jerri, Tina put herself at the center of the major alliance with new partners Colby and Keith. She kept Jerri and Amber on board and happy by insisting that it was just for the sake of the tribe and Ogakor's ability to compete in challenges, and not a political move.
At the merge, Tina was again the one who manipulated the past vote game mechanic to ensure her continued control of the game, sending Jeff packing. Her decision to give up immunity to Keith was also a smart decision, again related to her awareness of the importance of past votes.
Tina had a potential problem - though Colby despised Jerri, he despised Keith more, and had long ago made a F3 deal with Jerri and Amber. If this situation were allowed to happen, Tina leaves the game at F4 and the popular, respected Colby takes the game in a cake walk. Tina was Colby's #1 friend in the game, but he could certainly wake up to the fact that a Tina endgame was suboptimal for him and vote her off.
Tina knew that, once they had pagonged away all of the immunity threats, she had to shake the game up. She began openly spewing some bullshit about how she wanted good Christian people to win the game (cough*NOT JERRI*cough) and how the pagoning process put her in a dilemma and was hurting her heart and so on.
Elizabeth and Rodger ate that shit up and became best friends with Tina. Tina told them she would do what she could to keep them around. Now it was simply a matter of getting the pair to put enough pressure on Colby so that she could successfully manipulate him into prematurely jettisoning his Jerri-Amber F3 alliance, which he did, reluctantly.
[Rodger and Elisabeth, the latter especially, were buying what Tina was selling to such an extent that they assumed, despite Keith continually staying around every vote for an obvious Ogakor F3, that Tina would keep them around for F4 over the unlikeable chef, and the pair refused to turn on Tina when Amber offered them the opportunity at F7].
The Jerri boot was good because it made Tina an absolute lock for the FTC, but it was good for her on another level in that it farmed the jury in just the right way for Tina, a sociable woman who was well-liked and respected for her "values" and "faith," to have a favorable setup against even Colby, a formidable FTC opponent. Tina couldn't convince Colby to vote against Amber (he pulled a JT and didn't vote for someone he knew was going home) because he was trying to look like the good cop this time, but Colby's complete betrayal of Jerri that early in the merge meant that her vote would be "anybody but Colby."
Tina, weak physically, still in all likelihood needed Colby or Keith, two challenge studs, to take her to the end, though. Cleverly, her 3-person alliance was set up so that both of the other two members were closer to her than anyone else in the game, and also happened to fucking hate each other. Keith was the easier opponent, and clearly who Tina wanted to be at the FTC with. It wasn't to be, though. After he won, Colby, who believed he was going to win either way, was easily manipulated into taking Tina to FTC; it was almost a foregone conclusion at that point.
Tina came in with at least Elizabeth, Jerri, and Keith locked. Alicia leans Tina, Rodger is genuinely undecided, Nick leans Colby, and Amber is a lock for Colby.
Tina's speech was more about strategy than Colby's rambling, perhaps too self-deprecating speech, and respect for her gameplay and her coherent answers gave her the nod.
What did she do badly in this game?
Be old at the beginning of the game and thus put herself in jeopardy. Her combination of fantastic social skills and strategic planning made up for her age disparity, though.
On a minor note, her answer to Jerri's FTC question was, I thought, a little too snarky, though she still got Jerri's vote.
Many people thought at the time of the season's airing that Colby got robbed and/or that Tina got lucky that he was such a nice guy. This is just simply not the case. Unlike, say Sugar's on/off desire to take Bob to FTC, Colby's relationship with Tina was both extremely tight and something that Tina actively created and cultivated, and would have not have happened if she didn't work extremely hard at it.
Colby isn't Stephen Hawking, but he's no slouch intellectually, and Tina continually convinced him to do things that weren't in his strategic interest. Tina's endgame was set up so that she was going to the end and win regardless of any contingencies, and this is because she read Colby's psychology and determined that he just hated Keith so much, believed he was winning either way, loved her, and could be emotionally manipulated.
It's true that having a game set up to have something like a 40% chance of taking a dangerously likeable opponent (Colby) to the end was pretty risky (though, on the flip side of her alliance, Keith was easily beatable and if either Keith or Tina wins immunity, Tina wins Australia, no question).
It was definitely Tina's best available option, but if something went wrong along the way, she could have lost FTC to Colby. Luckily, after quashing the possibility of a Jerri-Colby-Amber F3, she kept Colby close and farmed the jury, ensuring her win against either of her FTC partners.