Jessica Sanchez

As American Idol's Top 13 took the stage Wednesday night, some dominated with their showstopping voices (Jessica Sanchez! Joshua Ledet!) while others let nerves get the best of them (better luck next time, Shannon Magrane). But some of last night's most entertaining storylines occurred when the cameras stopped rolling. Here are five of the most memorable moments straight from the Idol audience.

1. During two separate commercial breaks Steven Tyler disappeared for an extended period of time, and came running back to his seat with just seconds to spare. "We're missing a judge!" the Idol stage manager exclaimed to the studio as Tyler bolted in through the stage's elephant doors. The stage manager also had a scare of her own when she took a wicked tumble off the stage next to the judges' table a few seconds before the show returned from another break.

2. Judge Randy Jackson went into the audience during the first break to greet Babyface, who just this past Monday made his debut on Idol's rival The Voice as Team Cee Lo's advisor. And So You Think You Can Dance judge Mary Murphy was in the house to support fellow SYTYCD judge and Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe. She told the audience about next season's auditions — which includes standout hip-hop dancers — and that she's excited for the premiere, coming after Idol's run.

3. Don't mess with judge Jennifer Lopez's hair. When the audience handler joked to host Ryan Seacrest about touching J-Lo's perfectly coiffed 'do, she shot Seacrest a warning look to stay back. When the cameras started rolling, Ryan opted for Randy's ears instead.

4. As the Top 13 took the stage during their performance recap video, they danced and sang along to each other's performances. Skylar Laine and Hollie Cavanagh were especially congratulatory towards each other, sharing a special secret handshake. When Jessica Sanchez's song replayed to thunderous crowd applause, Phillip kowtowed in her direction.

5. After the contestants said goodbye and the audience was about to exit the building, Seacrest returned to the stage and asked for everyone to stay in their seats so he could film a Bat Mitzvah greeting for Fox president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell's 13-year-old daughter. Seacrest joked about tapping into his Southern Methodist roots for the job, and when an audience member asked for a birthday shout out, he obliged, adding "that will now cost you $12!" L'chaim!

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!