updated 05/26/2011 AT 1:00 PM ET
•originally published 05/26/2011 AT 4:45 PM ET
They say a kiss is just a kiss but was it romantic, friendly or just congratulatory?
Are they an item? “Oh no,” McCreery, 17, said during a conference call on Thursday. “We’ve been getting that question all morning. Me and her – it’s a brother-and-sister relationship.”
As for the kiss, McCreery knew Alaina, 16, was going to do it if he won.
“She told me before the show she was going to [kiss me],” he said. “It was kind of like a joke. She’s a character.”
The finalists – the youngest pair to compete in an Idol finale – have a lot more in common than both being country singers on the rise.
“We are really close friends,” McCreery said. “I met her on day one of Hollywood Week.”
As other young contestants were eliminated, McCreery and Alaina became the only ones who had to balance singing with school work.
“She’s in Algebra II, and she’s killing me in class right now,” McCreery told PEOPLE recently.
“We have PE [together] so we play football all the time,” Alaina added. “I can throw it farther than he can, but he’s pretty athletic.”
Now that another season is over and McCreery took the title, he made it clear that he still shares the Idol glory with his friend.
“It’s been a year since me and Lauren Alaina tried out now,” he told Seacrest minutes after learning the finale results. “We’ve been together since day one and we’re going to stay together.”
Meanwhile, McCreery is already getting started on his upcoming album. “I recorded two songs last weekend,” he said. “It’s going to be a good album. I got good songs.”
Until that comes out, fans can buy his first single, “I Love You This Big,” on iTunes, where on Thursday it quickly became the most downloaded song.
“It’s wild,” he said of that honor. “I love the song.”