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On Monday, 17-year-old Bindi Irwin, best known as the daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, was announced as the first celebrity contestant to join the cast of Dancing With the Stars.
Since the passing of her dad in 2006, she’s been keeping busy working on children’s shows and even earning a Daytime Emmy Award for her work on Bindi, the Jungle Girl, a wildlife documentary similar to the work for which her father was known. She also joined her brother in Australia Zoo, an online series dedicated to the times the siblings spent with their much beloved dad.
Now, nearing adulthood, not only does Bindi want to carry on her famous father’s message, she hopes to use the DWTS opportunity to open up a career in acting.
She explained, “We never want Dad’s message to die. It’s wonderful that we’re able to carry on in his footsteps and keep his message alive,” adding, “It’s great to play with the animals … and to know that they were the same animals that dad was brought up with, it’s pretty special.”
Although animal welfare and nature conservation are issues that will always be her first loves, Bindi revealed that show business is definitely something that calls to her, noting, “I see my filming career as an opportunity to get the message of conservation out to an even greater audience. Acting is something I’m extremely passionate about.”
The determined teen who will relocate temporarily to Los Angeles during the show, says she’ll rely on her family, mom, Terri, and younger brother, Robert, for support, especially against the judges on Dancing With the Stars.
Of her time out on the dance floor Bindi remarked, “I’m quite nervous about this. I have to tell you though, the judges scare me more than crocodiles. They are so knowledgeable. They’re supreme athletes. I’m just this girl from Australia who’s used to crocs so give me a 15-foot crocodile any day.”
Despite her nerves, Bindi told People magazine that she is “absolutely thrilled,” adding, “I think that it is going to be a truly unbelievable new experience. I can’t wait to see what is to come.”