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Derek Hough gushes over Bindi Irwin — but she's too young to date (PHOTO)

A celebrity gossip junky, Caroline Goddard has been writing entertainment news for longer than the world has known Kim Kardashian's name. Follow her on Twitter at @GoddardCaroline.

Derek Hough's comments about Bindi Irwin will only fuel her schoolgirl crush

Derek Hough is psyched he landed Bindi Irwin as his new Dancing with the Stars partner, and his comments about the teen are so sweet.

Hough shared the news that he was paired up with the Aussie animal educator with an enthusiastic post on Instagram.

More: Bindi Irwin joins DWTS: 8 Facts about the Crocodile Hunter's daughter

"I'm in this space right now where I'm super pumped on life right now. I feel connected. I feel great. And then she walks in my life. You don't understand what positive energy she is," Hough told People about his teen partner.

"I'm trying to figure out what it is," he continued. "I just got off a vacation on a lake, and I was thinking maybe it's because she's connected to nature and the animals or something. And if you're that connected, you feel whole I guess. I don't know what it is. I love her. She's amazing. She's a breath of fresh air. We all need a little Bindi in our life. Seriously."

More: One of the DWTS dancers wants to become the show's next judge

Hough better be careful, because such sweet words from such a gorgeous man could cause a 17-year-old girl (or a 40-year-old woman, ahem) to have certain, uh, feelings. And despite Hough's reputation as a ladies' man, the age of consent in California is 18.

But seriously, how cute is she?

Love her!

More: DWTS' Cheryl Burke makes a heartbreaking confession about childhood sexual abuse

Derek Hough's comments about Bindi Irwin will only fuel her schoolgirl crush

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