It was a dull Saturday Night Live finale until Lil Nas X took the stage in pants emblazoned with flames on the crotch. The rapper, shirtless and covered in oil, performed his single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” with a crew of chiseled backup dancers in latex cut-out chaps. Just minutes after appearing in a pre-recorded musical celebrating the start of Pride Month, Lil Nas X was pole dancing, grinding on his backup dancers, and enjoying a tongue on his neck. Happy Pride, everyone!
Not even a wardrobe malfunction could slow him down. Midway through through “Montero,” those flame-embroidered pants split open. Minutes later, Lil Nas X took to Twitter to make fun of himself.
In March, Lil Nas X vaulted himself to queer icon status with the song’s release—specifically, the music video, which left the Christian right clutching their pearls. The rapper welcomed the controversy—and seemed to enjoy getting a rise out of his detractors. “i spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the shit y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay,” he tweeted in response to the controversy. “so i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”
Saturday Night Live actually satirized the controversy surrounding “Montero” earlier this season, in a sketch in which Chris Redd played Lil Nas X addressing the dust-up in an interview with Britney Spears (played by Chloe Fineman). Needless to say, however, there’s nothing like the real thing.