Lady Gaga performed the song live along with “Venus” on the tenth series of The X Factor (UK) on October 27, 2013, at Fountain Studio in Wembley. Jason Lipshutz from Billboard denoted it as “intoxicatingly weird”. ITV, which aired the performance, and Ofcom, the British media regulator, received around 260 complaints regarding the performance, due to Gaga’s costume and the suggestive lyrics of the track, which was broadcast before the 9pm watershed. A spokesperson from the channel released a statement that they did not believe the performance to be inappropriate.
During her ArtRave party for the release of Artpop, Gaga performed eight songs from the album, closing the set with “Do What U Want”. The performance ended with the singer mirroring the pose of the album cover art—a Jeff Koons sculpture—on the stage, by sitting down and spreading her legs apart, while cupping her breasts. On November 16, 2013, Gaga performed “Do What U Want” at episode 751 of the 39th season of comedy show Saturday Night Live. Kelly appeared as the guest vocalist, doing the similar routine with Gaga, and picking her up from the stage on his shoulder. There was also sex simulations, dry humping and they ended the performance in an embrace. According to Zach Johnson from E!, the performance drew mixed reaction from the media.
Gaga had revealed during ArtRave that she and Kelly would perform “Do What U Want” at the American Music Awards of 2013 on November 24. During the performance, Gaga enacted the role of a secretary for the President of the United States, which was played by Kelly. The stage was set up to be reminiscent of the Oval Office. Gaga belted out the final chorus of the song alone, as the backdrops displayed a video of the singer playing a piano as a child. The epilogue featured self-depreciating newspaper headlines in the backdrops, proclaiming “Lady Gaga is Over” and “Lady Gaga is Fat”. Jason Lipshutz of Billboard called it “the most elaborate performance” of the ceremony and found parallels with Kelly’s own rap opera Trapped in the Closet in its storytelling.
At the British chat show, Alan Carr: Chatty Man, Gaga performed another acoustic version of the track. Wearing a Kansai Yamamoto bodice with an iPad attached to it, Gaga belted out the song while playing the piano. Another performance took place at the 2013 Jingle Bell Ball on December 8, 2013, where she sang “Do What U Want” along with other songs from her discography. It was first announced that Gaga would perform on the fifth season finale of The Voice on December 12, 2013, with the assumption that R. Kelly would accompany her during a performance of “Do What U Want”. However, a television commercial aired on December 17, the evening of the finale, teased that “Christina joins Lady Gaga for one epic performance”; they sung “Do What U Want” as the final performance of the evening. Both appeared in “matching clothes” with few differences, Gaga wore a “jumpsuit all sharp, off-kilter angles”, while Aguilera was dressed in a “slinky-sexy gown emphasizing her smooth curves”. A writer from Rap-Up praised it as an “over-the-top” performance. Los Angeles Times writer Amy Reiter commended the pair’s vocal ability as “triumphant”.