Demi Lovato Dancing with the Devil Review

LAS VEGAS - MAY 20: Demi Lovato at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, NV

The pop star unravels her overdose in 2018 and her recovery since then.

“This is the first time we’re telling the truth––for her,” said Sirah, Demi Lovato’s former sober companion and best friend. YouTube’s original series Dancing With The Devil takes viewers on an inside look at the singers life on tour while friends, family and former assistants reveal the more complicated side of her struggle with addiction. 

22 minutes in length, this is the first episode in the series that will reveal the nitty-gritty details in Lovato’s journey to taking on the heavy burden of fame while fighting for control of her life.

A foreshadowing of her overdose on July 24, 2018 begins the episode. During that time, a crew had been filming her Tell Me You Love Me world tour. All filming was halted after her hospitalization and permanently shelved––until now.

Lovato describes much of her days as being managed, controlled, observed and restricted. 

“I’m just going to say it all and if we don’t want to use any of it we can take it out,” said Lovato. “Anytime you suppress a part of yourself, it’s going to overflow at some point. And that’s ultimately what happened to me in a lot of areas in my life, and it is ultimately what led to my overdose, for sure.”

The actress and singer explains her roots before stardom, before the overdose––an addicted, abusive, alcoholic father who died under stressful circumstances. 

“I cut him out because it was causing more harm than good to have him in my life. His death was very complicated because we don’t actually know the day he died. By the time we found him his body was too decomposed to have an open casket,” Lovato says.“Six years ago I was drinking vodka out of a Sprite bottle at nine in the morning, throwing up in the car…and I just remember thinking, ‘This is no longer cute. This is no longer fun. And I’m just like my dad.’”

Dianna De La Garza, Demi’s mother, explains that her daughter should have received professional help years ago. “Sobriety has to be your choice and no one else’s. If it’s someone else’s choice for you then it won’t last.”

By elementary school, Lovato was entered into beauty pageants. By middle school, she was on TV. She details the need to be the best and the competitive attitude that embodied her when exposed to these environments early on. 

“We had to be very careful what we ate around her, which sounds insane, but maybe some of the control she had with her last team was put in place to help her so she wouldn’t relapse in her eating disorder…but it totally backfired. The control and the restriction was way too toxic for her, and she was miserable,” explained Mathew Scott Montgomery, a close friend of Lovato.

The episode goes on to cover the end of her six-year sobriety, her relapses, the accountability she held for those decisions made and the unimaginable coincidences that led to her overdose in 2018. Everyone with a speaking role had honest and raw conversations with the producers on what was surrounding the stardom and eventual demise of Demi Lovato.

The singer has never turned away from having tough conversations before, as her PR team has made her into the poster child for mental health advocacy, which undoubtedly added to the pressure cooker of sobriety she continues to face. 

It was an emotional, personal account on addiction as a disease that the United States has had a hard time acknowledging and identifying, that Lovato spoke on with grace, poise and strength. More episodes are out now. 

About Elise Kolmer