'Idol' Recap: JLo denies her nipple was exposed, Steven Tyler exposes his

It wasn’t quite as scandalous as Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, but a weary nation was exposed to yet another bare nipple on last night’s live broadcast of “American Idol.”

Last week, judge Steven Tyler took some heat from fellow judge Jennifer Lopez after an impromptu near-skinny dip in a pool at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas.

And Tuesday night, Tyler got his revenge.

“Jennifer... dared me to take my pants off and jump in the water,” explained Tyler, who was flanked by Lopez, judge Randy Jackson and host Ryan Seacrest at the judges’ table.

“Now wait – who am I,” asked the Aerosmith frontman, as he grabbed the lapel of his shirt, faked a sneeze, and ripped open his shirt to reveal a naked left nipple to a shocked – and possibly horrified – audience.

PHOTO: Did JLo pop her top?

Lopez, for her part, looked mortified. “I don’t even know what to say to that,” she lamented. “It’s a family show,” reminded judge Randy Jackson.

Meanwhile, host Ryan Seacrest deadpanned to the camera, “I think that was an Oscar reenactment, ladies and gentlemen,” he said, alluding to the exposure revealed by the low-cut gown Lopez wore to the award show on Sunday. “And you looked great in that dress.”

As the cameras cut away to a taped segment, an exasperated Lopez attempted to defend herself. “There was NO nipple!”

Meanwhile, the Top 12 boys managed to perform without exposing anything that would incur an FCC fine, and at the end of the show, were joined by a familiar hopeful.

“Right now, we’re going to see which guy the judges brought back for an incredible second chance,” announced Seacrest as the doors opened to reveal Jermaine “Gentle Giant” Jones.

“I’m very, very excited and grateful–overjoyed,” said Jones, explaining that he couldn’t quite believe the moment when he got the call from “American Idol” producers asking him to return to the contest. “The neighbors probably could have heard me and my mom screaming in the house.”

Jones received a standing ovation from the judges after singing a smooth rendition of Luther Vandross’ “Dance with my Father.”

“Thank you for proving to us why we asked you to come back,” raved Tyler.

Most of the other contestants put in solid performances, including Joshua “Mantasia” Ledet who belted out Jennifer Hudson’s “You Pulled Me Through.”

“Can I get an ‘amen’ up in here,” praised Jackson. “This is what singing is all about.”

“You are just amazing, I just don’t even know what to say to you. I just want to punch you,” agreed an uncharacteristically violent Lopez. “You are so insanely talented, that voice is from another world–it is from God.”

Meanwhile, Philip Phillips–who was a trending topic on Twitter for several hours after the broadcast–received mixed reviews for his re-harmonized version of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight.”

And fan favorite Heejun Han may have made a misstep with his choice of singing Robbie Williams’ “Angels.”

“You have a voice that’s smooth as silk,” noted Lopez. “I’m not sure that song showed off how beautiful your voice is, really.”

By the end of the week, more than half of the boys will be eliminated from the contest.

“You’re sending five guys straight into America’s Top,” Seacrest reminded viewers at the end of the show, encouraging viewers to vote for their favorites. “No one is safe.”

Up next: The semi-finalist ladies perform live from Hollywood.