Lil Nas X Just Revealed the Truth Behind His "SNL" Wardrobe Malfunction

The performer gets honest about what happened on live TV this weekend.

Singer Lil Nas X made his Saturday Night Live debut on May 22 during the finale of the show's 46th season. He gave two powerhouse performances on SNL, but he almost shared more than he planned to with the audience. While singing his hit song "Call Me By Your Name," Lil Nas X's pants busted at the seams, leading him to cover up with his hand for the remaining 50 seconds of the performance—and giving a truly priceless facial expression in the process. The viral moment was so jaw-dropping, some even hypothesized it might have been staged. But in a new appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on May 24, Lil Nas X revealed the real story of the wardrobe malfunction seen 'round the world. To see what the singer had to say, read on.

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Lil Nas X said he suddenly felt "a breeze going on" during the viral moment.

Lil Nas X on "Saturday Night Live"
NBC/"Saturday Night Live"

During his appearance on The Tonight Show, host Jimmy Fallon asked Lil Nas X to share the background story on the wardrobe malfunction that's been viewed 2.5 million times on YouTube. "I was pretty much going down the pole, you know, doing my little sexy drop-down, and boom—I feel air," Lil Nas X explained. "I was like, 'Okay, there's definitely a breeze going on.'" He also added that he "felt some popping [seams] still happening when I was down there."

Lil Nas X pointed out that since SNL is broadcast live on TV with an in-person audience, he had to cover himself for the rest of the performance.

The pop star was ultimately able to laugh at the mishap, even creating a TikTok of his reaction watching the moment back.

He had to ask for a towel to cover up before leaving the stage.

Lil Nas X on "Saturday Night Live"
NBC/"Saturday Night Live"

Although the situation was nerve-racking, Lil Nas X recovered like a pro. You can see the panic in his face for a brief moment, but he quickly problem solved and altered the choreography to be sure he didn't expose himself to the audience. He told Fallon that at the end of the performance, the dancers were supposed to put their hands on him, and he was praying they didn't tug on his pants too hard.

Luckily, he emerged unscathed. But Lil Nas X was unable to pull off a key part of his performance, which featured him twirling around on a pole. Fallon showed a clip of him doing the routine perfectly at the SNL dress rehearsal to make up for its omission during the live performance. When the performance was over, Lil Nas X said he froze because he couldn't leave the stage without everyone in the audience seeing "everything," so the crew had to bring him a towel so he could cover up and exit the stage.

Lil Nas X also said the wardrobe malfunction inspired his outfit for The Tonight Show.

Lil Nas X wears skirt on The Tonight Show after wardrobe malfunction.
NBC

For his appearance on Fallon, Lil Nas X wore a white blazer, some silver jewelry, combat boots, and a plaid skirt. When Twitter users started hating on him for the latter, he had the perfect response. "Stop asking me why I'm wearing a skirt," he tweeted. "I will never trust pants again!"

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Lil Nas X experienced another setback before SNL even went live.

Lil Nas X on "The Tonight Show"
NBC/"The Tonight Show"

"This week has been testing my patience a lot," Lil Nas X told Fallon. He went on to explain that one day before the SNL performance, one of his dancers got COVID, which forced all the dancers and the choreographer into quarantine. The pop star and his team had to scramble to find a new batch of dancers to learn the choreography quickly and be performance-ready in just 24 hours. He gave a shoutout to the dancers for delivering a great performance with only one day to prepare.

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Allie Hogan
Allie Hogan is a Brooklyn based writer currently working on her first novel. Read more
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