We learned a valuable lesson from last night’s 90210: Sometimes, an on-the-nose guest star is the perfect choice. For weeks, we’ve been waiting for Justin Deeley‘s good ol’ cowboy Austin to confess to Naomi (AnneLynne McCord) that he’s actually the son of a famous country musician. And when the truth came out at Austin’s birthday party in Vegas, his dad was none other than Billy Ray Cyrus.
I actually thought it might be Billy Ray from the moment he opened his mouth — the soul patch was a big tip-off, too — but then I figured that it was way too easy a choice and dismissed it. Only after “Vegas, Maybe?” was over did I do some Googling, and lo and behold—Miley Cyrus‘ dad is back on TV, playing a slightly more selfish version of his Hannah Montana character!
Most interestingly, he’s not credited on IMDb as playing Judd Ridge. You would think that since his last non-Disney project was The Spy Next Door, that he would like the extra publicity from The CW’s well-known teen soap. And yes, I do see now that the casting choice was announced back in September. But I missed that news item then, and there’s obviously been no update since.
Regardless, good for him for getting work! Because his Hannah Montana character Robbie Ray Stewart is mostly a bumbling adult, it’s really fun to see him play an actual asshole. Judd makes Austin’s birthday all about him, from assuming Naomi crashed Austin’s party to meet Judd, to guilting his son by saying, “Do you know how much it cost me to cancel my second show for your party?” Douchiness suits him.
Even though Austin and Naomi had a fight at the end of the episode — about her standing up to his dad, ironically — we’re hoping that Billy Ray pops in for a few more episodes. He’ll join the series’ other famous dad, Ryan O’Neal!