Just when it seemed like weight loss guru Dr Eva Orsmond had tried her hand at everything RTÉ had to offer, the presenter and businesswoman has returned to our screens again - this time to finish documenting the opening of her new health hotel in Portugal.
While the idea may seem unappealing to many, Eva and her now ex-husband Wyatt went all in on the project, packing up their life five years ago to pursue the ambitious adventure.
“You need to have a certain level of craziness to start a project like this,” she says at the beginning of season two of Dr Eva’s Great Escape, a two-part follow-up that opened on Monday night.
There has been a bit of build-up to the programme's latest installment, as it seems Solar Alvura - the five star hotel of Dr Eva’s dreams - didn't just cost the couple €3m, but also their 27-year-long marriage.
“Building and renovating a hundred year old hotel is not exactly couple’s therapy,” Eva tells the cameras following the high-profile separation.
While they knew that renovating the 19th-century property would be a risk, a lack of planning permission, spiraling costs, and the pandemic turned the dream into a nightmare.
Season two of Dr Eva’s Great Escape picks up where the cameras left off in 2020, when the project was only halfway completed, a risky €2m loan had been taken out, and Eva failed to show up to her own pre-launch party due to stress and exhaustion.
The cameras follow her as she works with Wyatt to complete the project while living alone for the first time in a rented villa.
“It’s been very scary for me to be so alone,” Eva tells the camera. “The first few days I was almost paralysed. People look at me and they think she has it all. They don’t actually know what’s happening behind the scenes.”
Seeing the famous doctor, who has been criticised in the past for her ruthlessness, being so honest about her vulnerability is a highlight of the entire episode - as are the couple’s quips to each other during the renovations.
“That’s bloody ugly,” Eva tells Wyatt of an extractor fan that’s bothering her.
“If you can paint your fingernails, I’m sure you can paint a piece of metal, so why don’t you come in and start helping?” he asks her during another tense moment.
Watching the couple-turned-friends battle it out - both with each other and against the hurdles they face - is a “disaster”, as Wyatt says, that makes for excellent television.
We even leave them at the end of the episode with a beautiful-looking, nearly finished hotel. We’ll just have to tune in again next week to see if any curtains have finally been hung.
- Episode two of Dr Eva’s Great Escape is on RTÉ One on Monday, August 15