Bindi Irwin Paid Tribute To Dad Steve On 'Dancing With The Stars' & Also Rocked The Number

One of the people I was most looking forward to watching on Dancing With The Stars was Bindi Irwin, the 16-year-old daughter of late conservationist and television personality Steve Irwin. Having loved Steve as a child and watched Bindi grow up in the public eye, I was interested to see how Dancing With The Stars would go for Bindi, and I have to say — I am more than pleasantly surprised. The assigned dance with partner (and Dancing With The Stars superstar and five-time-winner Derek Hough) was the jive, and the song was a straight-up tribute to Bindi’s dearly departed dad: “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John.

I really have to say that Bindi 100 percent — no, 1000 percent — rocked her performance. I had no idea that she could dance like that, and it seemed like she shocked most of the audience. Judge Julianne Hough declared Bindi’s jive with Derek to be the “best number of the night”, and she and the other judges gave Bindi and Derek straight eights for a cumulative score of 24 — the highest of the night. That number was truly a pleasure to watch, and I can’t wait to see what Bindi does next on Dancing With The Stars.

That first number was important, too, because it made reference to the elephant in every room that Bindi enters — the shadow of her late father. Steve Irwin was a global icon, and of course, people were and will continue to be curious about his death. Bindi’s going on Dancing With The Stars both honors her father’s memory and allows her to forge an independent, more grown-up path for her adult life.

Will Bindi win Dancing With The Stars Season 21? Well, the fact that she has Derek Hough as a partner is a pretty good sign that she’s a frontrunner (the network wouldn’t bother to pair them up unless she was a good dancer). For now, we’ll just have to wait and see, but Bindi is certainly off to a great start.

Images: ABC/Adam Taylor