Lil Nas X says SNL pole dance pants split was not a stunt

'Boom. I feel air.'
May 25, 2021 9:04 a.m. EST
Getty Images/NBC Getty Images/NBC

Lil Nas X performed as the musical guest for Saturday Night Live's season finale this weekend, taking the stage for two highly choreographed and meticulously planned numbers. For both “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and “Sun Goes Down,” there was twerking, floor grinding, neck licking, and pole dancing, all while shirtless and wearing shiny patent leather chaps. 

So when LNX suffered a not-so-subtle wardrobe malfunction, it naturally went viral around the web. On The Tonight Show (weeknights at 11:30pET on CTV) Monday, he explained, that no, he hadn't meant to tear his leather pants while pole dancing his way to hell on SNL.

“I was pretty much going down on the pole, doing my little sexy dropdown, and boom, I feel air!” he told Jimmy Fallon and guest co-host Dave Grohl. “I was like, ‘There’s definitely a breeze going on.'”

“I also felt like some popping still happening while I was down there, so I was like, ‘God, please don’t be on TV already.’ And SNL is actually live!”

If you want to see the moment that had everyone talking over the long weekend, here it is, but pay special attention to how LNX catches it quickly like a pro and just keeps grooving!

“At the end of the performance, the dancers are supposed to touch me and tug on me or whatever,” he continued, “and they were tugging on the pants, and I was like, ‘Please, God, no!’ But It was perfect timing. If that had ripped at any other time during the performance, it would have been over.”

And he’s not kidding, because Jimmy was able to get footage of the SNL dress rehearsal, where LNX and his team of dancers performed the number uninterrupted with no hiccups. Right after the spot where he drops down on the pole, he actually lifts himself onto it and twirls around upside down with his legs wide. 

LNX made sure to point out that is the very proof it wasn’t a publicity stunt.

"I want everybody who thought it was a publicity stunt to see that," he exclaimed. "It was not. I would never rip my pants in public on purpose."

Explaining that he was finally able to leave the stage only after the SNL fetched him a towel, he also revealed the problems that plagued that performance before he even took to the stage. 

He and his crew of dancers rehearsed for two weeks to make sure they had the moves down pat. Then 24 hours before show time, one of the dancers tested positive for COVID, and they all had to go into 14-day quarantine!

So Nas had to recruit a whole new set of dancers, who actually learned that intricate dance number in just one day! They pulled it off flawlessly, wardrobe malfunction excluded (or included?).

His show-stopping performance comes just a month after he was a punchline on SNL during a sketch where Chris Redd portrayed LNX giving God a lap dance. From joke to headliner, LNX gets the last laugh.

Watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon weeknights at 11:30pET on CTV.

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