Demi Lovato on How Guest Hosting ‘Ellen’ Inspired New Docuseries About Her Overdose

“I knew that one appearance on a television show wasn’t going to cut it,” singer says

Demi Lovato Ellen
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Demi Lovato has often spoken candidly about her struggles with addiction and mental health, but her upcoming YouTube docuseries “Dancing With the Devil” may be her most revealing project yet.

The four-part series, directed by Michael D. Ratner, goes deep into the aftermath of Lovato’s near-fatal overdose in 2018, featuring interviews with the singer herself, as well as her friends and family. In a trailer released Wednesday, Lovato revealed that she suffered three strokes and a heart attack during her hospitalization, with doctors at one point giving her five to 10 minutes to live. (Watch the trailer for “Dancing With the Devil” here.)

During a Television Critics Association panel for the series, Lovato explained her desire to be so transparent with her story, tying it back to an experience guest hosting “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in early 2020.

“Hosting the ‘Ellen’ show last year was the catalyst for my need and desire to express myself and my story to the fullest extent,” Lovato said. “I knew that one appearance on a television show wasn’t going to cut it. I was not going to be able to share my whole story in one interview.”

She added: “If we don’t acknowledge our feelings, if we’re not vulnerable with other people, we’re never going to experience the internal growth that we need to survive — that we need to help make this world a better place for other people.”

Lovato also touched on some of the physical consequences from her 2018 overdose, including the fact that it took two months for her to regain the ability to read and that she still can’t drive a car due to “blind spots” in her vision.

“I dealt with a lot of the repercussions, and I feel like they are still there to remind me of what could happen if I ever get into a dark place again,” she said. “And I’m just grateful for those reminders, but I’m also so grateful that I was someone that didn’t have to do a lot of rehabbing [physically]. The rehabbing came and the emotional side and the therapeutic side, internally.”

But “Dancing With the Dark” shouldn’t be seen as a story about just her overdose, Lovato said.

“I think, waking up in 2018 after what happened to me, I realized there’s so much work I have to still do on myself,” she said. “And so because of that, I was able to finally come out and talk about some of the traumas that I’ve had in my past and experiences in the industry that has really led to some of the reasons that kind of led up to that breaking.”

“Dancing With the Devil” premieres March 23 on YouTube.


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