Alison Raybould’s family bonded over their shared love of the reality show “Survivor,” but she decided being a fan simply wasn’t enough.

She said, “Intellectually, I’m stimulated every day. But, what can I do physically that will prove that I have this grit that I think lies within me?”

Raybould, a doctor at UNC, is one of the 20 castaways competing on “Survivor: David vs. Goliath,” which premiered Wednesday night.

This season’s premise is built around the battle between “Davids,” who appear to be the underdogs, and “Goliaths,” who appear to be at an advantage.

“I was recoiling from the title of Goliath. In life, it’s amazing to be a Goliath. You want to be recognized for your accomplishments. But, in ‘Survivor,’ that is the worst thing that could possibly happen. That puts a target on your back from day one,” Raybould said.

Raybould, 28, is one of five siblings. She grew up in Kansas, went to Columbia University for undergrad and then to Georgetown University School of Medicine before coming to Chapel Hill for her residency.

“If she sets a goal and she really wants it, she does everything she can to try and achieve it,” said her mother, Willa Raybould. 

If she won the $1 million prize, Alison said she hoped show her family how appreciative she is for their support over the years.

“I just wanted to say thank you to my parents for every single opportunity that they have helped me create. I just wanted to show gratitude, and I wanted to pay off my student loans,” she said.

Her mom has watched every season of the show. Her brothers, Bret and Jordan, created a podcast about it as well.

She decided last fall to apply and recruited her brothers to help her.

“And, they didn’t believe me until I told them, ‘Bring your camera equipment home. We’re filming my audition tape,’” she said.

She found out in early March she’d been selected to compete and left for Fiji on March 21.

She thought about whether to reveal to the other contestants that she was a doctor, but she decided that it’s such an important part of who she is that she couldn’t hide that.

This season brought a new twist that the players did not know about when filming began: the ability to nullify an immunity idol.

“Jeff says, ‘It’s not who has the advantage. It’s what is the advantage?’ And, I think that’s what he was speaking to. There was a new advantage out there, and the savvy players are gonna perk up and pay attention,” she said.

On the first day of filming, a tropical cyclone dumped rain on the two tribes just as they tried to build their shelters.

“I don’t think that you realize how bad the weather can be until you are in pounding rain, your hands are pruny and you’re cold and your lips are blue and you’re shivering, until it actually happens,” Raybould said.

She entered the game with a strategy, saying she hoped to form an alliance with other female players and find one person she felt she could count on no matter what to make it to the end together.

“You can’t even really appreciate even as a fan what paranoia really feels like out there,” she said. “When a game in its 37th iteration is based off of lying, backstabbing, cheating … how can you trust anyone?”

While the players know who made it to the end of the game, they don’t know who won. That will be revealed during a live special in December.