Pia Toscano and ‘DWTS’ pro Mark Ballas do a dinner date


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Pia Toscano and Mark Ballas were spotted out on a date Friday in L.A. in a love connection that appears to be a mix of dating the girl next door and meeting someone at work -- with a professional wrestler as the matchmaker.

In recent weeks, Toscano, 22, and Ballas, 24, have been working on adjacent stages, shooting ‘American Idol’ and ‘Dancing With the Stars,’ respectively, with trailers that were geographically compatible.


According to People, the singer ‘had a crush’ on the professional dancer.

Toscano, of course, was voted off ‘American Idol’ on Thursday night and then reportedly got pitched a record deal Friday, ending a big week with dinner at Gulfstream restaurant in Century City. Ballas is partnered this season with Disney doll Chelsea Kane after his high-profile turn last time around dancing with Bristol Palin.

If this is ‘losing,’ winning may be overrated -- though hopes for a rush release of a Pia album may be thwarted by the realities of the contract ‘Idol’ contestants are bound by; she told ‘The Insider’ on Monday that no deal had been inked. In the meantime, Ballas’ album ‘HurtLoveBox’ (see him singing, above) drops Tuesday.

And what is it with pro wrestlers and this season’s ‘Idol’ cast? First James Durbin lost his mind over Hulk Hogan‘s appearance on the singing show, and now Toscano gets a date thanks to Chris Jericho, who’s competing on ‘DWTS.’

According to TMZ, a Toscano friend who knows Jericho passed along the New York singer’s phone number -- and really, what self-respecting guy wouldn’t dial those digits? Ballas reportedly went above and beyond, however, rescheduling a music-video shoot to make the date -- and it sounds like this won’t be the only outing. Gotta smile when a crush works out. Toscano tells ‘The Insider’ that they’re ‘just friends,’ but TMZ swears they were smooching Friday night. Are there any other ‘Idol'-'DWTS’ love connections that make sense?


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-- Christie D'Zurilla

Michael Buckner / Getty Images. Pia Toscano of ‘American Idol.’ Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images