On Tuesday’s much-anticipated finale of Dancing with the Stars, Bindi Irwin took home the Mirror Ball Trophy, to the delight of fans. Let’s look back at some of her best moments of this season
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1. In honor of her dad
So much of Bindi’s energy this season was in service to the memory of her dad, Steve Irwin, and her desire to make him proud. This wasn’t the first time she got emotional when talking about him and his death, and we also heard from her mom, Terri Irwin. Bindi dedicated this dance, which included the iconic Dirty Dancing lift, to him.
2. The (other) lift
There were two lifts this season via Bindi and Derek, but this one was particularly stunning. Bindi killed with this move while wearing a great red dress and vampire fangs. That night’s dance earned her and Derek a set of 10s.
3. Dancing through pain
Bindi, in terrible foot and knee pain, (ABC brought us a lovely close shot of her injuries) performed anyway, but didn’t receive the best scores, which the audience greeted with boos.
4. The time Bruno called her and Derek’s performance “better than dazzling”
In her interview with Erin, Bindi attributed her success with this dance and the whole season to Derek, the most popular of the show’s professional dancers.
5. The time the judges told Bindi that she’s basically magic
Another emotional evening: Bindi told Erin that DWTS “changed [her] life.” Erin got super choked up, and Carrie Ann, after rattling off a long list of complimentary adjectives, including “poignancy,” “charisma” and “artistry,” told Bindi that she “does each dance to its fullest potential.”
6. And of course, winning it all
Season 21 brought us lots of unexpected drama (see Tamar Braxton’s withdrawal due to illness, Kim Zolciak’s stroke and Kim Zolciak’s tiny waist) and some overwhelming talent. While some argued that there was no question Bindi would win, it looked really tight for a moment there in the finale, with Nick and Sharna also delivering a stellar performance. But in the end, it was Bindi, whose fans were in her corner from day one, including the judges. Of Bindi and Derek’s (whose win on Tuesday is his sixth since he joined the show in 2007) final dance, Carrie Ann said, “I can’t think of a more perfect way to end this season.”