Watch the emotional performance that made Bindi Irwin the champion of Dancing with the Stars

The audience choked back tears as Bindi Irwin and her dance partner Derek Hough performed in the final of Dancing with the Stars. Steve Irwin's teenage daughter – who won the Mirrorball Trophy on Tuesday night – paid tribute to her late father with a truly touching dance.

Aptly swaying to Footprints in the Sand, Bindi and Derek soared to victory with their moving freestyle.

Their dance ended on a bittersweet note as Bindi looked up to a photograph of herself as a child kissing her late dad. Steve, known as "The Crocodile Hunter", died at the age of 44 in Queensland, Australia after being pierced in the heart by a stingray.

A photo of Bindi and her late dad Steve Irwin was projected onto a screen during the dance

For the past three months Bindi has put her heart into competing on Dancing with the Stars and it seemed the final was all too much as she broke down in tears and hugged her partner Derek.

Members of the audience were visibly moved to tears, as were the judges who had predicted that Bindi was a frontrunner.

"Thank you so much for everything. I can't believe I'm here. Thank you for changing my life," Bindi shouted as she was crowned the winner.

"I can't believe I'm here. Thank you for changing my life," said champion Bindi

"Awesome!" said Derek, clutching onto the trophy. "Heavy, isn't it?"

Ahead of the final Bindi posted a message on Twitter, in which she dedicated her journey to her fans and her "beautiful family".

The TV star also shared the last family photo that was ever taken before her dad Steve passed away. "The last photo as a family, before I had to wave goodbye to my hero, for the last time. Dad, I love you," she wrote.

The 17-year-old shared a photo of her "beautiful family" before performing in the final

Bindi and Derek were pitted against Alek Skarlatos and Lindsay Arnold, and Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess.

"Honestly, Bindi deserved it," former Backstreet Boy Nick said after the show. "Bindi deserved it! She kicked butt."