First off, a shout out to Steven Tyler, who made the best quip on last night’s American Idol. At least I think this is exactly what they said.

Contestant: “I’m a test subject for pharmaceutical tests.”

Steven: “We have something in common, then!”

Second place goes to John Wayne Schulz’s dad, who had a choice quip for Ryan Seacrest. Unfortunately it requires a long explanation.

Read our recap of the American Idol auditions in Austin

Anyway, the Austin auditions weren’t so hot. The cowboy was just “a’ight,” the other girl looked a bit like Paula Abdul, and the Ryan Seacrest fangirl was, uhh, pretty cute. But nothing’s popping out. So today’s Honor Roll will succumb a bit to the hype: I’m picking the last audition of the night, the guy who got the slightly-scripted yes-in-unison response from the judges, and the guy who got a mention on Nigel Lythgoe’s Twitter page. My reason is simple: I like him.

Seth Rogen + Taylor Hicks = Casey Abrams

That header pretty much sums it up. We have someone continuing the Randy-coined “unassuming” trend. We have someone who reminds me of Taylor Hicks — he has that energy, but he’s not as stodgy as the season 5 winner. Also, he’s got a bit of the growl that I liked from Rob Bolin, but his doesn’t sound as earnest. There’s that kick that I hope to see in full blast in the coming weeks.

And yes, the University of Colorado music student plays his own instruments. Don’t scream “WGWG!” — I don’t see him going the pop-rock route. His YouTube videos suggest otherwise:

Yeah, that’s him playing all those instruments. When I first watched the videos I wondered if he could cope with performing solo. But he is performing solo. (And he’s a bit of a video nerd, too.) But he can also do bands. Here’s him as part of his high school’s jazz group. He’s the guy playing the bass, blocked by some horn player.

And here’s him doing a little bit of Glee.

I’d like to call him this season’s Crystal Bowersox, only without the busking and the potential to have a lamp post as a microphone stand. But considering how my choices of late have gravitated toward indie more than pop — then again, this is Austin — well, maybe I shouldn’t get my hopes that high.

(Image courtesy of Fox)

Henrik Batallones

Staff Writer, BuddyTV