ENTERTAINMENT

Bindi Irwin Breaks Down During 'DWTS' Finale Dance Honoring Her Late Father (UPDATE)

"Sometimes during rehearsals it feels like there's three people in the room."

UPDATE: Bindi uploaded a photo of the Irwin family with patriarch Steve on the day before he died to her Instagram account last night. Her father was clearly on Irwin's mind after the emotional "Dancing with the Stars" performance. 

"The last photo ever taken of us as a family," she captioned the photo. "The day before I had to wave goodbye to my hero, without knowing it would be the last time. But Dad, I know you walk beside me always and your strength lives within me. I love you."

PREVIOUSLY: There wasn't a dry eye in the house after Bindi Irwin's "Dancing with the Stars" finale performance. 

On Monday, the 17-year-old and her partner Derek Hough performed an elegantly choreographed freestyle dance that paid tribute to her late father, Steve Irwin, the Australian wildlife expert who died of a stingray attack in 2006.

Dressed all in white, Bindi and Derek took a no frills approach to their finale performance, which not only reflected the Irwin family's tremendous loss -- Bindi's mother and brother were in attendance -- but also exhibited the growing connection between the dance partners.

Leona Lewis' ballad "Footprints in the Sand" was the perfect song choice for the freestyle routine.

The number came to an emotional finish, when a sweet photo of Bindi kissing her father on the cheek was projected on screen, resulting in Bindi breaking down in Hough's arms.

"I love you, thank you," she told him, while trying to keep her composure. 

It turns out Bindi had no clue an image of her father would be incorporated into the performance. The surprise was entirely orchestrated by Hough. 

"I didn't know that photo was going to be up," she revealed to "DWTS" co-host Erin Andrews backstage. "This whole experience has meant the world for my whole family and it has changed my life, so thank you so much."

The judges awarded the pair 10's across the board and many, including Derek's sister Julianne Hough, were visibly moved by the performance. 

"Sometimes during rehearsals it feels like there's three people in the room," Bindi shared in a prerecorded package before the dance began. "And I do feel like dad is still with me, every day."

This wasn't the first time Bindi has memorialized her father through dance this season. In the "Most Memorable Year" week, Bindi dedicated her time on stage to her late dad, set to "Every Breath You Take."

Watch the heartbreaking performance below. 

 

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