‘Dancing With the Devil’: the authentic documentary about Demi Lovato’s struggle with addiction

Pic: OBB Media/YouTube

The first two episodes of Demi Lovato’s highly anticipated docuseries Dancing with the Devil were released Tuesday 23 March, on YouTube Originals. Episodes three and four will later air on March 30th and April 6th.

Directed by Michael Ratner and coinciding with the release of her new studio album with the same title this documentary offers an honest and intimate insight on the darkest moments of the American pop star’s life The episodes including referral to her eating disorders, mental health issue, drug, and alcohol addiction, that led to her hospitalised for an accidental overdose in July 2018.

Lovato’s history of struggle has been previously publicised, but this didn’t stop from some of the shocking revelations that the documentary revealed. The American pop star has also announced that she will release a new studio album, on Friday 2 April.

“It’s the most cohesive project that I ever made by myself,” Lovato said during her red-carpet interview for the documentary premiere.

The guests to the event received a special and intimate performance of her song Anyone, the first single from her new studio work. The title tracks to the album were released today on her official social media accounts.

The Dancing With The Devil documentary starts after the release of her sixth studio album, Tell Me You Love Me, in late 2017, where Lovato invited a camera crew to follow her during the exhausting world tour to promote her latest project. While the singer seemed to handle her sobriety well the reality behind the cameras was quite different.

“In that documentary, I was allowing the cameras to see the tip of the iceberg,” she recalls. The project was scrapped after Demi was hospitalised for her overdose. Some of the footage was used in the new film, although most of the interviews were filmed in 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic.

No topic was off-limits in the 2021 documentary. The singer recalls the night of her overdose in painstaking detail, and speaks candidly on being led to a breaking point, sharing first-time allegations of sexual abuse. Lovato reveals how all these traumas have ultimately liberated her from an unhealthy environment. With comment from family, professionals, and even Elton John, Dancing With the Devil reveals her unfiltered truth.

The four episodes explore the shocking consequences of living under these limitations and the ultimate pressure of recovery becoming part of her brand. For over six years, and after checking in to rehab for the first time in 2010, Lovato become a poster child for addiction and mental-health advocacy.

Demi Lovato performs during the premiere event of new documentary. Pic: Getty Images

Demi Lovato is no stranger to a revealing documentary. Released in 2012, Stay Strong followed a seemingly sober Lovato after her first rehab experience.

In 2017, Simply Complicated was billed as an “apology” to fans, a strategy to rebuild their trust as well as promoting the album Tell Me You Love Me, released later that fall. Some of her statements in this documentary reveal a strangely lacks intimacy with the public however with this document the singer seems to take responsibility and awareness of her healing path.

The Dancing with the Devil documentary, starring Lovato, offered a more authentic image of a pop star far from being perfect, a new concept of role model that is not unashamed her struggles and mistakes.

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