Following a life-changing accident, Jenifer Lewis ends 'Idol' performance with impressive high kick

Lewis reveals what her high kick during "American Idol" performance meant to her.

ByAmy Becker OTRC logo
Tuesday, May 14, 2024
Jenifer Lewis ends 'Idol' performance with impressive high kick
Following a life-changing injury 18 months ago, Jenifer Lewis wows "American Idol" crowd with "Dig a Little Deeper" performance.

LOS ANGELES -- "American Idol" has featured its share of amazing performances this season, including a special performance by legendary actress, Jenifer Lewis, accompanied by multi-Grammy-winning musician, Terence Blanchard. The pair performed "Dig a Little Deeper" from the Disney hit, "The Princess and the Frog!"

The show was completed with an energetic high kick, past the singer's head. On The Red Carpet spoke to her about the kick, as well as the new attraction, "Tiana's Bayou Adventure," inspired by the film.

"I couldn't walk for eight months, and I said, 'You've got to get that kick back, baby. If you get your kick back, then you're on your way,' and that was the goal!" Lewis explained. "And if you reach for that, if you really reach for it, you'll get there," she went on to say.

"We talked about this during the rehearsal, and in rehearsal, the leg was that high. My leg stayed on the ground," Blanchard joked.

In November of 2022, Lewis fell off a 10-foot-high balcony during an African vacation. "I went out. I was just taking in the fact that I was back in the Serengeti, once again, and I'm walking, and all of a sudden, I had fallen ten feet into a dry ravine," she told Robin Roberts in a Good Morning America interview earlier this year.

Just 18 months after her fall, Lewis is feeling good and couldn't be happier to be performing again.

She recounted the rousing number. "I'm happy to be alive, let alone sing a song like 'Dig a Little Deeper,' which is mine, you know. I was Mama Odie, and Randy Newman was there in that studio with that full orchestra the day I recorded 'Dig a Little Deeper,' and now to sing it in front of millions of people, I just came up off the ground of the Serengeti and just started performing! That's just who I am!" she beamed.

"Tiana's Bayou Adventure" the newly-imagined attraction, opening June 28 at Walt Disney World Resort, and later this year at Disneyland Resort, features characters from the beloved film, including Lewis' very own Mama Odie.

Lewis explained, "I realized why I didn't die on the ground of the Serengeti. I had more moments of bliss. I felt like I had breathed the breath of life into that animatronic, because she looked so real!"

Tune in to the season finale of "American Idol" Sunday night at 5 PM PT on ABC.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC, ABC News and this ABC Station.