After a record-setting showing that included more than a half-dozen perfect scores, 17-year-old wildlife conservationist Bindi Irwin—the daughter of the late Steve Irwin—was crowned Dancing With The Stars' 21st champion last night (November 24) over Nick Carter.

Still, the fan favorite didn't do it alone, and she gushed over her partner Derek Hough to Entertainment Tonight as the cast celebrated.

"I can't believe I'm here. I'm this girl from Australia who works with wildlife, and I got to learn how to dance and now I'm here and it's all thanks, honestly, to Derek for always believing in me and staying strong," she told ET. "I'm so, so lucky!"

Bindi, who jokingly agreed with Hough that the Mirror Ball trophy should adorn her "croc pond," dedicated a handful of the season's performances to her "Crocodile Hunter" father, who was killed in 2006 by a stingray's barb while filming a documentary. Now, she said she's ready to return to Australia and honor his legacy.

"I can't wait to get back to all of my animals and to just go and lay under the trees with my snakes and my rhinos," she said.

And there was more good news for the show's fans. After sitting out Season 21, longtime judge Len Goodman announced on Twitter that he's more than ready to return to the show. "So nice people are welcoming me back," he wrote, but warned, "Be careful what you wish for."

Are you a Dancing fan, and do you think Bindi deserved the title, or were you Team Nick all the way? Sound off on the results in the comments.

See a collection of wild stage costumes:


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