Bindi Irwin’s Tender Tribute To ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Pro

Monica SchipperGetty Images for Discovery, Inc.

Bindi Irwin paid a tender tribute to her former Dancing with the Stars pro-partner Derek Hough on Instagram just prior to her taking her seat behind the judge’s table on the Australian version of the hit U.S. reality dance competition series.

In a post on the social media site, Irwin reflected on her time with the series, including her top 10 favorite dances with Hough, who scored his sixth show win alongside Irwin. She said in an Instagram caption that there were “no words” to describe her time on the series. She then called Hough her “extraordinary friend, teacher, and big brother.”

Irwin, who will guest-judge Dancing with the Stars Australia, then reflected on her 10 favorite moments on the series, hoping that a new batch of contestants will also feel the joy and accomplishment the daughter of the late Steve Irwin felt each week as she challenged herself to learn something new.

In the post, she called it “a privilege to share my journey and I can’t wait to sit next to such accomplished judges tomorrow night. See you there Australia!”

In a post on the ABC show’s official website, Irwin said she was “thankful” for winning and that her experiences as a participant on the show had changed her life.

The Daily Mail reported that fans were unhappy with Irwin’s first appearance on DWTS Australia, deeming her “too nice” on Twitter.

“A word of advice to Bindi Irwin on #DWTSau… you need to develop a grown-up tv persona and be more natural. That saccharine sweet stuff that was so adorable in a young teenage girl just seems fake in a young woman. You need to grow darls…” said one Twitter user.

Another viewer stated, “Is there anything Bindi Irwin can’t do? Skydiving on a surfboard? Probably can!”

The Inquisitr previously reported that the wildlife conservationist won a cash prize of over $350,000 after coming in first place in the competition. Cinemablend revealed that the then-17-year-old needed the signature of a parent in order to collect her prize, and her mother Terri Irwin signed the appropriate paperwork, but a judge also needed the signature of her father in order for Irwin to collect her winnings since she was a minor.

TMZ reported that she needed to provide a death certificate to show that Steve Irwin had passed before she was allowed to collect her winnings. Irwin later declared that the money she won on the series would go straight to her parents’ beloved charity Wildlife Warriors.