Bindi Irwin has been wowing audiences week after week on Season 21 of “Dancing With the Stars.” The 17-year-old daughter of “Crocodile Hunter” and wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin is partnered with five-time mirror ball trophy winner Derek Hough. But now, after earning her second perfect score, many in Bindi’s own native Australia are saying that the show is rigged and she didn’t earn her scores, according to the Sydney Morning Herald on Oct. 28.
The main problem seems to stem from the fact that Bindi is paired with Derek Hough, brother of judge Julianne Hough. This has been a concern since Julianne joined the permanent judging staff in Season 19. During that season, brother Derek was partnered with You Tube sensation Bethany Mota. They didn’t win. Season 19 was won by Alfonso Ribeiro and pro partner Witney Carson.
Julianne sat as a judge in Season 20. Derek was partnered with gymnast Nastia Liukin and although the pair garnered high praise, they were eliminated before the finalists were selected. Season 20’s mirror ball trophy went to Rumer Willis and pro partner Valentine Chmerkovskiy.
So now Julianne Hough is judging Season 21 and her brother and his partner look like a good bet to take home the mirror ball trophy. Is she judging the pair fairly? Again, her brother competed in the prior two seasons and was eliminated before the finals.
To be perfectly honest about how things seem to be on “Dancing With the Stars,” former pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy has been a guest judge. Brother Val has danced every time Maks appeared on the show as a judge. Maks was even in the running to be the permanent fourth judge before that honor fell to Julianne Hough.
Julianne Hough is an accomplished dancer in her own right. She won Season 4 with Olympic speed skater Apollo Ohno and Season 5 with Indy car driver Hélio Castroneves. She ended up having emergency surgery in Season 6 and didn’t finish the season. She left the show in 2008 to pursue a career in music and movies.
Julianne came back for exhibition dancing several times after leaving the show as a cast member. On October 7, 2013, she sat in as a judge in place of Len Goodman, which was the first time a former pro came back as a judge. And then she became the permanent fourth judge in September of 2014.
So Julianne is eminently qualified to be a judge, but the question remains: should she be a judge while her brother is a contestant? Should anyone be a judge who has any connection to any of the competing pros?
And what do you think of Bindi Irwin’s dancing ability? Are the high scores coming to her because her partner’s sister is overscoring her or is she getting those scores because of her dancing? Has the adorable Bindi been preordained by the powers that be at “Dancing With the Stars” to win Season 21, is Julianne simply being over-lenient with the scoring or is it none of the above? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.