In the results show that surprised no one, Bindi Irwin was crowned this season’s winner of Dancing With the Stars. In all its years, never has there been a star more joyous to watch. Like co-host Erin Andrews said time and time again, Bindi is like a real-life Disney princess and short of her singing and birds and woodland creatures sashaying into the ballroom, she truly has been magnificent to behold.
While many of us could be peeved that pro Derek Hough landed yet another star who could dance and won yet another Mirror Ball (his record-setting sixth), no one could stay mad. Because, Bindi. Bindi, Bindi, Bindi. We knew she had something special all along as she was, and is, the entire package: young and cute, happy and smiley, positive, hard working, and always open to criticism — when there was some to give.
It was her tributes to her late father, Steve Irwin, that crushed us. From the tango in Week 2 to her dad’s favourite song, “You Shook Me All Night Long” to their contemporary routine two weeks later to honour their most memorable year (which, for Bindi, was 2006, when she lost her father).
But her tribute to the Crocodile Hunter on Monday’s show, when she and Derek pulled off a perfect interpretation of “Footprints in the Sand,” is what sealed the deal. The dance ended with the pair looking at an old family photo — and Bindi promptly lost it, falling into her partner’s arms. There wasn’t a dry eye by the end, whether you watched it live or are watching it again (and again) after it aired. It got her 10s from the judges and buckets of tears from viewers and, ultimately, it’s what earned her the title. And rightfully so. Nick and Sharna, Alek and Lindsay and even Carlos and Witney all put up valiant efforts but with Bindi in the running, they really never stood a chance.
Now excuse us. It’s been raining on our face and we have to go dry off now. Well, right after we watch it again.
MORE: Bindi might’ve won, but she’s still waiting to get paid