Bindi Irwin cries during emotional tribute to her father Steve on 'DWTS'

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Bindi Irwin's Emotional and Tearful Tribute to Late Father Steve on 'DWTS'

It was "Most Memorable Year" week on "Dancing With the Stars," which brought up emotional memories for one of the competition's front-runners, Bindi Irwin. The 17-year-old chose 2006, the year her father, Australia's legendary "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, died.

"It's been nine years and I've never really dwelled on that point when he did pass away," Irwin told pro partner Derek Hough during their week of rehearsals. "I think that I'm ready to kind of tell that story."

WATCH: How Bindi Irwin Hopes to Honor Dad Steve Irwin on 'Dancing With the Stars'

"Steve and Bindi were just absolutely inseparable," Bindi's mom Terri said of her late husband. "I'd never met anyone bigger, tougher, stronger, and yet more sweet and sensitive. Especially when it came to Bindi."

"I can remember being little and the one thing I wanted to do was be just like dad when I grew up," Bindi reminisced. "I still feel like that."

Irwin died after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming a documentary titled Ocean's Deadliest. Terri continues the couple's work running the Australia Zoo to this day.

"When they told me about Steve's accident, it completely broadsided me, because Steve was only 44 years old," Terri recalled. "It was kind of unreal for Bindi."

WATCH: Bindi Irwin on Her Father's Legacy: 'His Message Lives On in All of Us'

While Terri did not speak at her husband's public memorial service, an 8-year-old Bindi did, giving a moving speech to the crowd of thousands who gathered at Australia Zoo's famous Crocoseum to remember the wildlife icon.

"Bindi was so strong at the time, but when you love someone that much, it's like totally losing a piece of your heart," Terri said of her daughter. "You're really not gonna get over it."

"It took a really long time to understand what actually happened," Bindi echoed, growing emotional. "For the rest of my life, I'll kinda feel like he's gonna come home."

WATCH: Bindi Irwin on Mom Terri's 'DWTS' Support: She's the Strongest Human Being I've Ever Known

Even rehearsing her contemporary dance with Hough brought back strong memories for 17-year-old wildlife conservationist, who broke down during some of the pair's rehearsals.

"When Bindi lost her father, you know, the whole world kind of did," Hough said. "We all feel like we knew him, which is why it was so devastating. It gets you thinking about just how precious life is."

"No matter where I go, Dad will always be with me," Bindi added prior to the couple's dance. "I wish that he could fully understand how much he's done for me and that I miss him."

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Terri and Bindi's younger brother Bob looked on emotionally as Bindi broke down once again after the pair's stunning contemporary performance, set to a cover of "Every Breath You Take."

"This dance is for my dad," she told the crowd and substitute host Alfonso Ribeiro. "For my family and everybody back at home, but for my dad."

Watch the entire routine below:

'Dancing With the Stars': Bindi Irwin's Breathtaking Routine

The judges were emotional as well, praising Irwin and Hough's heartfelt dance and the tribute to her late father.

"He was dancing with you every step of the way," judge Bruno Tonioli told Bindi. "He's proud of you, Austraila and the world is proud of you."

"I'm so proud of this girl," Hough agreed. "She is one of the most extraordinary young ladies I've ever met in my entire life and has made this season one of my favorite seasons to date. She's a bright light, she is so special."

FLASHBACK: Bindi Irwin Was the Apple of Her Dad's Eye Back in 2002

FLASHBACK: Bindi Irwin Wanted to Be 'Just Like Her Daddy' Steve Back in 2002


See more from Bindi Irwin in the gallery below!
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Bindi Irwin through the years
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Bindi Irwin cries during emotional tribute to her father Steve on 'DWTS'
Steve Irwin with his wife Terri and daughter Bindi (Photo by John Stanton/WireImage)
SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 18, 2002: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) 3-year-old Bindi Irwin, the daughter of 'Crocodile Huter' Steve Irwin and Terri Irwin, wearing a sample of her children's fashion label 'Bindi Wear' with large snake draped around her body at Australia Zoo. (Photo by Newspix/Getty Images)
SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER November 20, 2003: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin, who is Queensland's Australian of the Year 2004 state finalist, is congratulated by his daughter Bindi Irwin and wife Terri Irwin at Australia Zoo. (Photo by Newspix/Getty Images)
SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 25: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) Bob, Steve and Bindi Irwin pose with 3yr old alligator Russ at Australia Zoo on June 25, 2005 on the Sunshine Coast in Australia. (Photo by MeganSlade/Newspix/Getty Images)
SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 25, 2005: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin with children, Bindi Irwin and Bob Irwin, at Australia Zoo. (Photo by Newspix/Getty Images)
BEERWAH, AUSTRALIA: Terri Irwin (2nd L), wife of Australian environmentalist and television personality Steve Irwin, sits with daughter Bindi (L), son Bob (3rd L) and Steve's father Bob (R) as they attend a memorial service for her husband at Australia Zoo in Beerwah, in the Australian state of Queensland, 20 September 2006. Family, friends, fans and movie stars bade a final farewell to 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin in a high-energy memorial service fuelled by laughter, tears and music. Irwin, known as the 'Crocodile Hunter', was killed 04 September by a stingray barb during a diving expedition. AFP PHOTO/POOL/STEVE HOLLAND (Photo credit should read STEVE HOLLAND/AFP/Getty Images)
BEERWAH, AUSTRALIA: Bindi Irwin, daughter of Australian environmentalist and television personality Steve Irwin (pictured R), reads out a speech about her father at a memorial service for her father at Australia Zoo in Beerwah, in the Australian state of Queensland, 20 September 2006. Family, friends, fans and movie stars bade a final farewell to 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin in a high-energy memorial service fuelled by laughter, tears and music. Irwin, known as the 'Crocodile Hunter', was killed 04 September by a stingray barb during a diving expedition. AFP PHOTO/POOL/STEVE HOLLAND (Photo credit should read STEVE HOLLAND/AFP/Getty Images)
BEERWAH, AUSTRALIA: Terri Irwin (C), wife of Australian environmentalist and television personality Steve Irwin, sits with daughter Bindi (L) and son Bob at a memorial service for her husband at Australia Zoo in Beerwah, in the Australian state of Queensland, 20 September 2006. Family, friends, fans and movie stars bade a final farewell to 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin in a high-energy memorial service fuelled by laughter, tears and music. Irwin, known as the 'Crocodile Hunter', was killed 04 September by a stingray barb during a diving expedition. AFP PHOTO/POOL/STEVE HOLLAND (Photo credit should read STEVE HOLLAND/AFP/Getty Images)
Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, is interviewed on the NBC "Today" television program in New York Wednesday Nov. 21, 2007. Since her father's death, she worked on TV and finished a documentary series, "Bindi the Jungle Girl." Home schooled because of her schedule, she has her own clothing label, "Bindi Wear," a fitness DVD called "Bindi Kidfitness" and travels for the Australian tourism industry. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: Robert and Bindi Irwin pose with a statue of the family that was unveiled today during 'Steve Irwin Memorial Day' at Australia Zoo on November 15, 2007 on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Steve Irwin day is a celebration of the life of the late Steve Irwin, the enigmatic 'Crocodile Hunter' who was killed by a stingray barb to his chest on September 4, 2006 whilst filming a documentary in Queensland. Australia Zoo is celebrating his life by inviting people from around the world to join in remembering what Steve was famous for: family, fun and wildlife. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 24: Bindi Irwin celebrates her ninth birthday and the first without her father the late Steve Irwin, at Australia Zoo on July 24, 2007 on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. To celebrate her birthday, all kids can get in to Australia Zoo for free and Australian rock duo The Veronicas will play live in the Animal Planet Crocoseum. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 19: Terri Irwin (L) and Bindi Irwin (R) leave after a luncheon discussion at the National Press Club January 19, 2007 in Washington, DC. Terri Irwin and Bindi Irwin spoke about Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, their late husband and father respectively, and conservation. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: Robert and Bindi Irwin participate in a naming ceremony with Gubbi Gubbi elders during the second annual Steve Irwin Day celebrations at Australia Zoo on November 15, 2008 on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Steve Irwin Day coincided with the opening ceremony of the new Australian Wildlife Hospital in honour of Steve Irwins mother Lyn Irwin who had been a pioneer in wildlife care in Queesnalnd, Australia. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: Bindi, Terri and Robert Irwin attend the official launch of the Australian Wildlife Hospital at Australia Zoo on November 15, 2008 on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. The opening ceremony timed to coincide with the second annual Steve Irwin Day celebration realised Steve Irwin's dream to establish the world's largest wildlife hospital to honour his mother Lyn Irwin who had been a pioneer in wildlife care in Queesnalnd, Australia. The new hospital is also a living memorial to Steve Irwin. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 15: Bindi Irwin attends the official launch of the Australian Wildlife Hospital at Australia Zoo on November 15, 2008 on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. The opening ceremony timed to coincide with the second annual Steve Irwin Day celebration realised Steve Irwin's dream to establish the world's largest wildlife hospital to honour his mother Lyn Irwin who had been a pioneer in wildlife care in Queesnalnd, Australia. The new hospital is also a living memorial to Steve Irwin. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
Washington, DC - March, 11: Bindi Irwin, 11-year-old daughter of the late animal lover Steve Irwin, visits the National Zoo, and giant Panda Tian Tian, left, to promote her upcoming television show March, 11, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 13: Beau Bridges and Bindi Irwin arrives at the Steve Irwin Day Gala Dinner to celebrate the life Steve Irwin and raise funds for Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors at Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on November 13, 2010 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by David Hardenberg/Getty Images)
March 9, 2010 Bindi Irwin, daughter of Steve Irwin at Metro Zoo for Free Willy Escape From Pirate's Cove. Students From Bendale Jr. P.S. watched a screening and had a Q/A with Bindi and posed for photos with her and autographed toy whales in this photo. Toronto Star/Michael Stuparyk (Photo by Michael Stuparyk/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
This 2012 photo released by the Hallmark Channel shows Bindi Irwin star of the film "Return to Nim's Island," the sequel to the 2008 action-adventure movie "Nim's Island," premiering March 15, 2013 on the Hallmark Channel. The Hallmark Channel is making Friday nights a home for family movies. Hallmark says the movie, starring Irwin, the 14-year-old daughter of the late Steve Irwin, the Australian crocodile hunter, will air as part of the new "Walden Family Theater" series, a Hallmark Channel collaboration with producer Walden Media, ARC Entertainment studio and sponsors Wal-Mart and Procter & Gamble. (AP Photo/Hallmark Channel)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 15: Bindi Irwin arrives at the 2012 Logie Awards at the Crown Palladium on April 15, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 18: Bindi Irwin poses with a lizard during the Goulburn Valley Fresh launch at Martin Place on February 18, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)
Bindi Irwin (R), daughter of late Steve 'Crocodile Hunter' Irwin, shares her medal for the young conservationist of the year with her mother Terri Irwin during a media call for the Australian Geographic Society Awards in Sydney on October 29, 2014. The Australian Geographic Society has given the award to Bindi for her role in the communication of ideas and action on global wildlife conservation. AFP PHOTO/ Saeed Khan (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Susan Sarandon (Death Row Stories); Jennifer Morrison, Josh Dallas, Lana Parrilla and Colin O Donohue (ABCs Once Upon a Time); Barbara Walters is joined by Terri and Bindi Irwin as she reflects on her past interview with The Crocodile Hunter, the late Steve Irwin Friday, March 7, 2014 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) TERRI AND BINDI IRWIN
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 30: Bindi Irwin arrives at the 3rd Annual AACTA Awards Ceremony at The Star on January 30, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)
SUNSHINE COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 24: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) Bindi Irwin celebrates her 16th birthday at Australia Zoo on July 24, 2014 in Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris McCormack/Newspix/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 24: Bindi Irwin attends Discovery's 30th Anniversary Celebration at The Paley Center for Media on June 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 24: Actress and 'Dancing With The Stars' contestant Bindi Irwin leaves the 'Today Show' taping at the NBC Rockefeller Center Studios on August 24, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Actress/ wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin (L) and dancer/TV personality Derek Hough attend 'Dancing with the Stars' Season 21 at CBS Televison City on September 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Actress/ wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin (R) and boyfriend Chandler Powell pose at 'Dancing with the Stars' Season 21 at CBS Televison City on September 28, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Actress/ wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin attends 'Dancing with the Stars' Season 21 at CBS Televison City on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
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