American Idol

American Idol's C.J. Harris & Dexter Roberts Have Been Friends for Years

04/03/2014 at 09:00 PM EDT

American Idol: C.J. Harris & Dexter Roberts Have Been Friends for Years
American Idol's Top 8
Michael Becker/FOX
All the American Idol contestants sang duets on Wednesday, but one pair had a head start on building chemistry.

"We've been friends for about five years," C.J. Harris told reporters of fellow contestant Dexter Roberts. "We performed our duet ["Alright" by Darius Rucker] back at home."

Harris, 23, and Roberts, 22, found each other randomly, and were brought together by music, while on spring break in Panama City.

"I met him on the beach," said Roberts. "I was playing the guitar, and he just walked up and asked to play with me."

The two remained close through the years, though they didn't tell each other they were auditioning for Idol – because they just assumed the other would be in line.

"I just had a feeling Dexter was going to be there. We love music, so we both wanted to do the same thing," Harris said. "He called me and was like, 'Hey man, you here in the line?' I was like, 'Yeah, man, I'm here.' "

Having a friend in line was lucky for Harris when one of his guitar strings broke just before his audition. "After Dexter made it through, he passed me his guitar, then I play it and I make it through," he said.

American Idol's C.J. Harris & Dexter Roberts Have Been Friends for Years| American Idol, C.J. Harris, Dexter Roberts

C.J. Harris (left) and Dexter Roberts

Frank Micelotta / FOX

Now in the Top 8, the pals have become roommates and have found a balance between being competitors and being friends.

"If I win, that's fine. If Dexter wins, that's fine," said Harris. "We're just going to be real and honest with each other and help each other out as much as we can. And we want to record an album together."

Roberts seconds the sentiment.

"It's so great that I'm going to get to go on tour with him," Roberts said. "Ain't no telling what we're going to be able to do."

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