Maddie Poppe and Caleb Lee Hutchinson have opened up about their four-month secret American Idol relationship, which they just announced on Monday night's finale.

Before the newly-crowned American Idol winner and runner-up took the stage during Season 16's finale with a sweet duet of "Over the Rainbow," Caleb revealed that Maddie is not only his best friend, but she's also his girlfriend.

Caleb told Entertainment Tonight the romance began on January 21, and it's obviously adorable he remembers the exact date.

"It was the first day of Hollywood Week and we haven't really spent any time apart since then," Caleb shared.

The couple, however, chose to keep their relationship private and under wraps throughout the reality singing competition, which premiered on March 11.

"It was one of those things where I didn't want it to affect anything, and I didn't want to exploit my feelings for her because they're very, very real. Once voting was over, I was like, 'Shoot, I want the world to know,'" Caleb explained.

Although they were pitted against each other on American Idol -- and even in the Final 2 -- Caleb admitted the lovebirds easily separated their feelings for each other from the stress and pressure of the competition.

"Honestly, it wasn't as challenging as you might think," Caleb said. "When I looked over at Maddie [in the finale], I was like, 'I win either way.' I really do. I don't feel any type of bitter loss at all. I'm just so happy for her."

Caleb blushed when asked if he was "in love," coyly replying to ET, "I mean, you know... I remember looking at her. I knew very quickly."

As for the new "American Idol," Maddie gushed about how she had secretly hoped to be in the Final 2 with her boyfriend all along.

"We were just playing it by ear, but we really wished that this could happen," she told ET, "and just that it happened, I'm just so happy and so on top of the world. I can't even believe this is my life, so it's pretty amazing."

Caleb is clearly thrilled Maddie was crowned champion of ABC's revival.

He tweeted last night after the show aired, "MY GIRLFRIEND WON AMERICAN IDOL!!! No one deserved it more than you babe. I am honored to know you and even more honored to call you mine. Don't forget about me. I love you."
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Caleb and Maddie weren't the only contestants on American Idol to enter a relationship this season. Third-place finisher Gabby Barrett also began dating Top 5 contestant Cade Foehner behind the scenes.

About The Author: Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.