Ellen DeGeneres has done it again!
The beloved talk show host had Lil Nas X on her show this week and pulled off yet another incredible jump scare — but Lil Nas X was expecting it.
It all began after DeGeneres, 61, congratulated the 20-year-old rapper on his booming career — he snagged two Video Music Awards at the MTV ceremony last month and enjoyed 19 weeks straight of his first single “Old Town Road” on the Billboard Hot 100 List — and coming out as gay in June.
“I can’t tell you how much I admire you,” DeGeneres said. “Because most people as you know, are fearful of that, because they think it’s going to affect their career. And here you are the height of like your brand-new career, brand-new, and you decide to come out.”
“And I don’t think anybody knew — did your family know you were gay?” DeGeneres asked.
Lil Nas X said that he told his dad and his sister shortly before announcing it on Twitter. “I guess, like, giving them a heads-up,” he said. “It [was] like, you know, a little earlier in the month before I did it.”
“First of all, what inspired you to do that, then?” DeGeneres asked.
That’s when Lil Nas X felt the need to double-check something: “There’s nobody in this box, no?” he asked DeGeneres, who was caught off guard before she responded, “No, I’m, no,” she said, as the audience burst into laughter.
“Okay,” Lil Nas X said, not quite seeming to believe her. “Say your thing one more time, I’m sorry.”
“I — what I was saying—” DeGeneres said, picking up her cue cards from off the box.
At that moment, a man with a cowboy hat on (looking an awful lot like Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” collaborator Billy Ray Cyrus) jumps out of the box with a yell.
Even though he seemed to have had an inkling of what would happen, the rapper was clearly scared and covered his face with his hands and then joined DeGeneres in laughter.
“No!” he said, looking over his shoulders. “Where’d he go?”
“I was gonna do it later, but I was scared you were gonna open the box,” DeGeneres said. “Sorry, I had to do it. During rehearsal you said, ‘No one’s going to scare me, right?’ And we had no intention until you said that. And then I thought, ‘Oh, we should scare him.'”
Later, DeGeneres shared the moment on Instagram, and Lil Nas X commented, “why ellen why lmao,” according to Comments By Celebs. Chrissy Teigen even weighed in on the scare, writing in the comments, “This is the only show I have to wear underwear on.”
After the hubbub died down, Lil Nas X finally got to answering DeGeneres’ question about why he decided to come out.
“Just knowing like, it was something that I should have been done, but I was not in a position where I had to worry about like family and friends, like how they would react, I guess,” he said. “But it’s like you know, in the past, here, I’m in a new level so it’s like it doesn’t really matter, I guess.”
He added: “And also, just, how it will be good for the younguns who are listening to me right now, who will have to go through stuff like this in the future. So like, it’s alright, I guess.”