US reality star Austin finished runner-up to James on Thursday night's live finale, but there were no hard feelings as Austin told host Emma Willis he was thrilled for his housemate.
"At the end of the day, that dude is a great guy. He's been a strong pillar throughout the competition and he deserves all the success and to take the crown," said Austin.
When asked to describe their friendship, he said: "Withstanding. We've been through this insane journey. Only 15 people have been through this together. I'm so pleased I made a friend. He's from up north and my family is from north as well so we had that bond at the beginning."
As for whether his house experience would be different without James there, he said: "100 per cent. We're a similar age, come from a similar stock and supported each other."
Austin admitted he was shocked when James nominated him for eviction - and it still seems to be a sore subject.
"It devastated me initially," he said. "I didn't know why or understand why and I thought I would never do that to him. After he gave me his reasons, I didn't agree with it, but I understood them to some degree. And that's all I can say about it because it really pissed me off!"
Later on, he appeared on Big Brother's Bit On The Side, where he said: "Going into it I didn't know who he was. I tried to stay neutral and wanted friendships to develop naturally and organically.
"Obviously he caught my eye as he's one of the best looking guys in the house! But as I started to talk to him it got deeper. As I started to peel back the layers of who he was, he's an amazing person."
Austin then joked: "I'm still married and my relationship is monogamous! And he is straight! I promise you that!"
As for the future, he said: "100 per cent we will stay friends. I think we will have to have a right piss up and a good chat!"
CBB finale results
5th: Chloe-Jasmine and Stevi
Celebrity Big Brother airs on Channel 5.
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