FOX; Invision/AP
Patrick Gomez
February 27, 2014 11:55 AM

As a competitor, it is always good to have winners in your corner.

When American Idol‘s top 13 took the stage Wednesday, contestant Alex Preston had a little extra support in the audience – X Factor season 3 winners Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton.

“We are tight. That was Alex’s guitar that I was using [on stage],” Preston told reporters Wednesday night. “We hung out a bunch of times this week. They are really similar to my style so we really connected.”

Kinsey and Deaton – who were mentored by new dad Simon Cowell on the recently cancelled FOX reality singing competition – actually reached out to Preston on Twitter.

“They actually messaged me and were like, ‘We love you! Can we go out to lunch?’ And I was like, ‘Hell yeah,’ ” Preston, 20, said. “So we went out to lunch on Sunday and just really connected.”

Now living in Los Angeles and collaborating with artists like Jason Mraz (whom Preston covered on Wednesday night) on their debut album, Kinsey and Deaton were perfect role models to dole out advice to the aspiring American Idol.

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“They just told me to take it day by day don’t get too ahead of myself,” Preston told PEOPLE. “Just worry about what is happening in that moment.”

After a pause, he added, “They are awesome people.”

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