The 27-year-old Dancing with the Stars judge praised the 17-year-old conservationist in an interview with People published Monday. Irwin is partnered with Hough’s brother, Derek Hough, on season 21 of the ABC reality competition.
“Bindi was fantastic, her whole energy, her spirit is infectious,” she said of Irwin’s performance last week. “I just feel like she’s a really great role model for young girls because she looks like she is so comfortable in her own skin.”
“I just think she’s a great person to be on the show, to represent that she’s 17 and she likes herself, you know?” she further explained. “It’s pretty awesome.”
Derek Hough also had good things to say about the teenager in a recent blog post for TV Guide. The 30-year-old professional dancer lauded Irwin once again Monday, writing, “So proud of my BEAUTIFUL BINDI! Her improvement has been extraordinary in such a short amount of time.”
Irwin and Derek Hough tied for first place with their jive to “Crocodile Rock” by Elton John in week 1, and topped the competition with their tango to “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC this week. Dancing with the Stars airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.