His blessing. Bindi Irwin opened up about whether her late father, Steve Irwin, would approve of her fiancé, Chandler Powell.
“I think Dad truly would’ve loved Chandler,” the 21-year-old gushed exclusively to Us Weekly while discussing Crikey! It’s the Irwins on Friday, September 27. “Chandler is so kind and thoughtful and there for me and my family, no matter what. I think that’s what’s so special, is that Chandler, he’s extraordinary because he’s always there for me 100 percent. Whether it’s good times or challenging times, he’s there to give me a hug when I need it or a word of encouragement when I’m feeling low. It’s really special to have someone who is always in your corner.”
Bindi added: “I think Dad would’ve loved that. I think Dad would’ve loved Chandler so much because he is so loyal and kind, and I’m really lucky.”
The Dancing With the Stars alum noted that her relationship with Powell, 22, mirrors her parents’. “We almost met in the same place that Mum [Terri Irwin] and Dad did,” she explained. “Mum and Dad have the photo of when they first met and so do we, and we both have those little silly smiles. We were just so happy.”
Powell chimed in to detail what led him to visit the Irwins’ conservation. “When I was younger, I loved Steve and Terri’s documentaries. I grew up watching them, and that’s what brought me to Australia Zoo,” he recalled. “It’s really special how life worked out and brought us together.”
The couple, who announced their engagement in July after nearly six years of dating, walked Us through the happy occasion. “[Her brother] Robert [Irwin] and I went to a location in the zoo and planned out the perfect spot where he would be completely hidden but still make an amazing photo,” Powell said. “We actually have a photo where Robert set up the camera on a timer, just so we could get an idea of how it looked, and raced over and I was on one knee proposing to Robert in the photo. Robert’s reacting like Bindi.”
Powell then prompted the conservationist to take a romantic stroll with him for her 21st birthday, which she celebrated on the same day. “We’re walking through the zoo, and I got to the spot where Robert and I lined out with sticks so I knew where to be. Yeah, we marked it out. … I got down on one knee, and it was just the perfect moment,” he told Us. “We got engaged in the place we met, the place we work. Yeah, it was a really special day.”
Bindi was in for one more surprise, though. “It was the perfect moment, and I was crying and so happy and just beyond thrilled. But then, out of nowhere, there comes this crashing from the bushes and screaming. I was like a fainting goat. I almost died,” she detailed. “Then Robert’s running and yelling, ‘Congratulations!’ and comes in and hugs us, which was really special and terrifying all at the same time because I had no idea he was there.”
Crikey! It’s the Irwins premieres on Animal Planet Saturday, October 5, at 8 p.m. ET.
Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!