LOS ANGELES (AP) — Octavia Spencer had a confession to make when she came backstage to introduce John Legend and Common.

"I had to leave Eddie in charge of the box" she said, after being surprisingly tasked with watching Neil Patrick Harris' box of Oscar predictions.

Producer Neil Meron apologized for not notifying Spencer she was to be part of the comic bit that ran throughout the show.

She said she was happy to play along, and her date, a 17-year-old actor she recently worked with, was delighted with all the airtime they were getting.

"You're on screen more than Neil Patrick Harris!" producer Craig Zadan said.

Just then, a loud bellow came from backstage: it was Legend warming up his voice for his performance.

"He just needs to come up and sing to me," Spencer said, adding, "I just met his lovely wife."

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— Sandy Cohen — www.twitter.com/APSandy