Radio legend Howard Stern has declared that country singer Scotty McCreery is the best of the season 10 'American Idol' contestants, and further, the one most likely to have a career when the show is over.

As you might suspect, these compliments came packaged with a few unflattering observations about McCreery: "You know who really is the best one out there, that I can actually see having a career? That goofy-looking 16-year-old country guy who has the inordinately bizarre voice, that big deep voice. He TALKS LIKE THIS. He's 16, sounds like he's 40-years-old. He could sing country music."

The conversation came up as current Rolling Stone cover boy Stern came in from a commercial with Rufus Wainwright's version of the Beatles' 'Across the Universe' playing.  Clearly enjoying the performance, and singing along at various points, Stern noted "that's what these kids on 'American Idol' should do, just get an acoustic guitar."

His longtime radio partner Robin Quivers cut in, brazenly declaring, "They can't sing, it won't help." But Howard doesn't hold such a negative view, instead questioning the contestants' song choices: "They sing these songs that are so old-fashioned -- it's like beauty pageant stuff."