Lil Nas X was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this weekend on the season finale hosted by Anya Taylor-Joy. The big headline coming out of his performance was how he split his pants when he dropped it low on the pole. My big takeaway was how adorable he was when he realised what happened – the expression on his face, and how quickly he recovered. It happens at the 2:20 mark if you haven’t seen it yet:
Happy for Lil Nas X, it was near the end, so the way he covered himself with his hand to the end didn’t take away from the energy of the song – but this is why live TV is live TV, this is why SNL still holds a draw for a lot of people, being one of the few regularly scheduled live events on television, every week it’s a different pop quiz, a different set of circumstances, the work is specific and unpredictable, an artform that these people get to practice week in and week out and that the audience gets to observe week in and week out. It’s literally show your work… live.
And Lil Nas X did well. I mean, imagine those circumstances, right? You work so hard – in his case doubly hard, considering the situation with his dancers and switching out a whole new dance crew right before dress rehearsal – and you want it to be perfect and something entirely out of your control happens and you still have to grab that mic when it comes back at you and finish the song. These are the moments you can’t practise for but the ones that can train you to become a better entertainer. And let’s remember, relatively speaking, although Lil Nas X has had a tremendous amount of success and disrupted the industry, he’s still pretty new to the game. It’s only been two years!
There’s also the matter that for him, with this song, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” and its video and this performance on SNL, Lil Nas X is continuing to challenge the norms of what’s acceptable and who gets to be accepted. Here’s an openly gay Black man on the season finale of SNL riding the pole with his shirt off, refusing to be ignored and unseen, defiantly claiming his place. Performing on SNL is a big deal for anyone, but for Lil Nas, it means more than just his personal career advancement, it’s representation on another level too.
Lil Nas was on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and co-host Dave Grohl last night talking about the malfunction. He seemed pretty chill about it but he also tells a good story. So that’s another skill he’s learning – the late night talk show interview. Doing better here than a lot of veterans. And also looking SO GOOD.
Note… another kilt! We saw a kilt on the cover of GQ and A$AP Rocky last week and I also linked to an article about this trend and, indeed, it is happening. Not for everyone, obviously, but Lil Nas X, with the white blazer and the boots, it’s a GREAT look. How many people are going to be in streetwear kilts this fall?
Also attached - Lil Nas X arriving for SNL rehearsals last week and heading out in NYC in celebrate after his performance.