Justina Miles, the deaf performer who went viral on Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show, opens for the first post-game interview.

Deaf performer Justina Miles stole the show during Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show – and for the first time, she talks about her historic performance.

Miles appeared on CBS Mornings for her first interview since the big game. She appeared alongside Rihanna in an online broadcast of the Eagles-Chiefs fight, translating the pop star’s medley into American Sign Language and jumping off the screen with her energetic performance.

Miles, a medical student at Bowie State University in Maryland, told CBS Mornings co-host Gail King that she was thrilled to be the first deaf woman to sign on a Super Bowl halftime show. She also signed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before the game started.

“Before I got there, I thought, ‘I just hope I get big, I hope I get big for the deaf community,'” Miles, who signed throughout the interview, said. “Here’s what I do and how I got into my zone.”

Miles has hearing and said she can hear music, but according to the audiologist, she is still considered deaf. While Miles is studying to be a nurse so she can advocate for deaf patients and lead deaf nurses, she said another job she dreamed of was being a dancer or performer, which made her Super Bowl appearance all the more special.

To prepare for the show, she started preparing as soon as she received the set list five days before the big game.

“I was nervous,” she admitted, laughing. “I understand. I said, “I know all these songs.” … What I did was go over the lyrics to make sure I got all the meanings right.”

Miles said she also memorized the lyrics to “sign the lyrics and move to the beat” so that the audience could “see the beat” rather than hear it. According to her, the performance was not only about writing the text correctly. She wanted to “be as visual as possible” to match Rihanna’s performance style and “show her art”.

Although Miles didn’t actually date Rihanna, they were able to connect on social media where Rihanna complimented her energetic performance. Like the rest of the world, Miles was surprised to learn that Rihanna was expecting her second child.

“She didn’t look pregnant!” Miles laughed. “It was a surprise… I found out about it later, much later.”

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