Bindi Irwin Earns First 10 of the Season on "DWTS" in Emotional Tribute to Dad Steve Irwin

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Bindi Irwin earned a 10 from judge Bruno Tonioli this week on Dancing With the Stars, following a beautiful and powerfully emotional tribute performance to her late dad.

"What shaped me the most would probably be when my dad passed away. It's been nine years and I've never really dwelled on that point," she said in a pre-recorded segment before the show, which focused on the most pivotal years of the stars' lives. "I think I'm ready to tell that story."

"It took a really long time to understand what actually happened," Bindi Irwin added of her father's death. "For the rest of my life, I'll kind of feel like he's going to come home."

Dancing to "Every Breath You Take," Bindi Irwin honored the late Steve Irwin--the Crocodile Hunter--who died in 2006, when Bindi was just a little girl.

Earning the first 10 of the season, Bruno Tonioli complimented the 17-year-old and her partner Derek Hough.

"He was dancing with you every step of the way," Tonioli told Bindi of her father.

"You have to remember that that emotion is just a part of life, and we all have to deal with different things, but you have to find that beauty in every day," Bindi said in an interview with People magazine following the show. "Tonight, it was just all about remembering the fact that dad is always with me, and I carry him in my heart."

Did you catch Bindi Irwin and Derek Hough's performance on Dancing With the Stars this week?

Steve Irwin is no doubt looking down on his beloved daughter with a great deal of love and pride.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.