Mark Ballas and Pia Toscano 'Vibe Well Together,' She Says

04/11/2011 AT 04:00 PM EDT



Her shocking elimination had American Idol watchers buzzing last week, but this week it's Pia Toscano's relationship with Dancing with the Stars pro Mark Ballas that has everyone talking.

"Mark is a really sweet guy," Toscano, who went on a date with Ballas in Los Angeles on Friday, told PEOPLE Monday in New York. "We went out with a group of friends. He's just a really good friend, I guess."

Toscano, who was a frontrunner on Idol before her surprising departure, said Ballas can relate to her whirlwind experience on Fox's hit talent competition.





"Me and Mark vibe well together because he knows what I'm going through," she said. "He gets judged every week and he's kind of on a similar show, only I'm singing and he's dancing, so he's a really nice person to have support from.

Ballas, a two-time Dancing champ who also knows what it's like to go home early in the competition, was able to put things in perspective for Toscano.

"He's just really sweet and extremely supportive and he just said, 'You know, better things are to come.' It's nice to have him in my corner," she said.

Since finding fame on Idol, Toscano is still getting used to having people talk about her relationships and asking about her love life.

"I really asked myself before I auditioned, 'Am I going to be able to handle everyone talking about my personal life?' And I am and that comes with the territory of this whole business," she said. "I guess if you're being talked about it's a flattering thing. It's a good thing that people want to know more about you so I'm okay with it."

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