Credit: Ray Mickshaw/©2013 Fox Broadcasting Co.

It wasn’t so long ago that X Factor Season 3 winners Alex Kinsey and Sierra Deaton could be found trudging through the halls of high school.

In the four or so years since then, however, the couple have jumped leaps and bounds. Not only did Alex & Sierra steal America’s heart on X Factor, the duo went on to win the whole shebang and solidify their spot as the reigning cutest couple of reality TV. Not everyone, however, seems to believe these two knew each other before their rise to stardom.

The pair of 22-year-olds headed on over to Twitter to dispel rumors they played up a romantic relationship on X Factor to garner votes, not unlike another famous couple from pop culture.

“To everyone who thinks we pulled a Katniss and Peeta...here’s a picture of us from high school :) hehe,” the couple tweeted from their joint account. The candid snapshot show a much younger looking Alex and Sierra mugging for the camera (aww young love).

Credit: Alex & Sierra on Twitter

Sierra’s not quite as glammed up as we’ll see her on X Factor but it’s Alex who really looks different! Wearing a preppy collared shirt and with a shortly cropped hairdo, he barely resembles the shaggy beach god who strums his guitar and melts the hearts of X Factor fans. Oh, um...sorry, Sierra. Obviously you have dibs.

What do you think of the shot? Can’t believe people claim Alex and Sierra aren’t longtime sweethearts, or still in shock from Alex’s transformation?

SourceAlex & Sierra on Twitter

Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!