11:19 AM EDT 11/26/2015


Bindi Irwin

Dancing With the Stars

Bindi Irwin Says Derek Hough Already Planned a Trip to Australia: I'll Teach Him How to 'Cuddle Tigers and Kiss Koalas!'

Originally posted 11/25/2015 09:35AM

Bindi Irwin is walking away from season 21 of Dancing with the Stars with not just a mirror-ball trophy, but also a lifelong friend.

"[DWTS] is such a special experience," the young conservationist told PEOPLE moments after her big win Tuesday night.

And making her months spent on the ABC reality dance competition even more special was her dance partner Derek Hough.

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Dancing With the Stars

Bindi Irwin on Her Dancing with the Stars Win: I Hope My Dad Would Be Proud of Me

Originally posted 11/25/2015 08:20AM

Bindi Irwin was surrounded by friends and family after winning season 21 of Dancing with the Stars, but there was one person missing that she wished had been there – her father.

"I couldn't even imagine if [he] was here right now," the young conservationist told reporters of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin. "Honestly, I hope that he'd be proud of me. And I hope that I am able to carry-on in his footsteps and make sure that his legacy lives on."

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Credit: Source: Kim Zolciak Biermann instagram
Kim Zolciak Breaks Down in Tears Off Camera After Making Her Return to DWTS Post-Stroke

Kim Zolciak Breaks Down in Tears Off Camera After Making Her Return to DWTS Post-Stroke

Originally posted 11/25/2015 08:10AM

Kim Zolciak-Biermann made an emotional return to Dancing With the Stars after being forced to leave due to health concerns.

For Tuesday's finale night, the Bravo-lebrity reteamed with dance pro partner Tony Dovolani to perform their I Dream of Jeannie-themed Samba – the same dance she was supposed to perform before being hospitalized for a mini stroke.

After successfully executing the Latin dance in the ballroom, the mother of six broke down in happy tears during an off-camera moment later shared as an Instagram clip.

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Dancing With the Stars

Find Out the One Thing Bindi Irwin Won't Miss from Dancing with the Stars

Originally posted 11/25/2015 08:05AM

Bindi Irwin is known for being a beacon of positivity, but even she can find at least one thing she's glad to put behind her now that her time on Dancing with the Stars is over.

"My feet are pretty cut up right now," the 17-year-old conservationist told PEOPLE just minutes after winning the mirror-ball trophy for season 21 of the ABC reality dance competition.

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People Picks

Watch Bindi Irwin's Final Dancing with the Stars Performance: 'Thank You for Changing My Life'

Originally posted 11/24/2015 11:55PM

Bindi Irwin's final hours on Dancing with the Stars were emotional.

The star, who has spent the season paying tribute to her late father Steve Irwin, said the show let her work through feelings of growing up without her dad, who was killed in 2006.

"Here I am given this opportunity to remember moments in my life I never thought I'd be able to look at and smile," a tearful Irwin, 17, said in the video package that aired before her final dance.

Pro Derek Hough said he was inspired by his partner, saying she taught him that "you can have struggle, but you can struggle with joy."

"Whenever it feels too hard, she looks at that challenge with a smile on her face," said Hough.

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People Picks

Dancing with the Stars Crowns a New Champion! Find Out Who Took Home the Mirrorball Trophy

Originally posted 11/24/2015 11:15PM

Dancing with the Stars has crowned a new Mirrorball champion!

Finale couples Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough, Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess and Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold battled it out on Tuesday's season 21 finale, but only one could be crowned.

So who made DWTS history?

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Tuesday's episode of DWTS.

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People Picks

Dancing with the Stars Finale: PEOPLE Predicts Who Will Win Season 21

Originally posted 11/24/2015 10:30AM

PEOPLE staff writer (and resident Dancing with the Stars season 21 expert) Patrick Gomez predicts who will take home the mirror-ball trophy Tuesday night:

Okay, lets get the obvious out of the way: Bindi Irwin has been the front-runner since the very first episode of season 21.

But even though she's been at the top of the pack since day one, I wouldn't count out Alek Skarlatos or Nick Carter just yet.

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Bindi Irwin Sheds Tears During Dancing with the Stars Tribute to Steve Irwin: 'Dad Is with Me Every Day'

Originally posted 11/23/2015 11:00PM

Bindi Irwin has spent 10 weeks paying tribute to her late father on Dancing with the Stars, but Monday's performance was the most emotional yet.

Irwin and the judges were in tears following her tribute honoring Steve Irwin, with the freestyle dance earning her perfect 10s.

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Dancing With the Stars

Nick Carter Brings 'Larger Than Life' to Dancing with the Stars as Final 3 Couples Are Revealed

Originally posted 11/23/2015 10:30PM

And then there were three.

Dancing with the Stars made a heartbreaking elimination, whittling the couples down from four to three in Monday's episode.

Who won't be competing in Tuesday's season 21 finale? Read on to find out.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for Monday's episode of DWTS.

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Derek Hough Reveals His Favorite Bindi Irwin Moment from Dancing with the Stars

Originally posted 11/19/2015 04:25PM

[YOUTUBE "b8-YfDwf368"] Derek Hough and Bindi Irwin have wowed the judges and audiences alike this season on Dancing with the Stars. But what is the pro's all-time favorite Hough-Irwin moment?

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