Derek Hough Shares Love For Fellow Mirrorball Winner Bindi Irwin On Instagram

Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough attend ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" Season Finale hosted by The Grove at The Grove on November 24, 2015.
Angela Weiss / Getty Images for Caruso Affiliated

Former Dancing with the Stars pro Derek Hough shared his love for fellow mirrorball winner Bindi Irwin after she announced her engagement to longtime boyfriend Chandler Powell on July 24, the day of her 21st birthday.

The two pals, who were paired together for Season 21 of the ABC reality dance series, became very close to one another during their season as competitors. In fact, their relationship was so tight, it was rumored that the then-17-year-old Bindi was even dating the 30-year-old pro. Despite the persistent rumors, which fueled their popularity on the series, Chandler was often seen at tapings of the show, seated alongside Irwin’s mom Terri and her brother Bob, cheering his girlfriend on.

“So happy for the 2 of you. Loving congratulations,” said Derek to the happy couple in the comments section of Bindi’s Instagram post.

Also chiming in was Derek’s girlfriend, DWTS troupe member Hayley Erbert who stated, “Congratulations, so happy for you both.”

Rumors of a relationship between Bindi and Derek swirled as the two showed affection for one another in rehearsals and their televised performances on the series. Derek once said to People Magazine that the daughter of the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin had “positive energy.”

He also commented on his feelings for the young woman by saying, “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.”

After a series of spectacular dances which included a touching tribute to her father Steve Irwin and a spot-on interpretation of the iconic dance from the film Dirty Dancing, the couple won the coveted mirrorball trophy.

Also sending their congratulatory wishes for Bindi and Chandler were actors Carlos and Alexa PenaVega, who also competed during Season 21, as well as Alfonso Ribiero and Dancing with the Stars host Tom Bergeron.

Bindi met the 22-year-old wakeboarder from Florida in 2013 while he was visiting the Australia Zoo. At the time, Bindi was just 15-years-old and Chandler was 16.

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Chandler explained to People Magazine how he planned out the special moment where he would ask Bindi to be his bride alongside her brother, Bob. It was just after her birthday party at the family’s Australia Zoo, founded by her late father Steve, that a photoshoot was organized to honor the young woman on her 21st birthday.

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Sunshine in my soul ????

A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin) on

After the party, he took her to the gardens of the zoo and asked “the girl of his dreams” to become his wife, reported People. Bob was there to capture the moment Chandler asked Bindi to marry him.

The couple has not yet revealed when their official wedding ceremony will be held.