LOS ANGELES – On a Monday night when the "Dancing With The Stars" final four was whittled down to three, Bindi Irwin once again stole the show with flawless dancing and raw emotion.
The 17-year-old "DWTS" darling got a perfect 60 points for two dances and her freestyle left everyone teary-eyed as she performed a balletic contemporary number with partner Derek Hough after telling rehearsal cameras, "Dad is still with me every day."
At the end of the freestyle dance, footprints superimposed on the "sand" of the ballroom led to a sweet picture of Bindi hugging her dad Steve, the Crocodile Hunter who died tragically in 2006 after a stingray attack.
Incredibly, Bindi told co-host Erin Andrews on camera that the last shot was a surprise: "I didn't know that photo was going to be up [there]."
After cameras caught Bindi as well as audience members Leah Remini and Bindi's mom Terri shedding tears, Judge Julianne Hough summed up the feeling: "You've left an imprint on each one of our hearts."
Backstage after the show, Andrews, who had also been visibly moved, told FOX411 about Bindi, "I get sad.[Her father] passed away at such a young age for her. Her whole journey here has just been something that's been so emotional for anybody that's close to their parents."
Although Bindi didn't speak to the press after the show because of Monday's production schedule (in which only the eliminated couple did media interviews), she told Andrews after her dream night, "This whole experience has meant the world to me."
Think she would go home after that? Not on your life! Even though he earned a perfect 60 points for his two strong Monday dances with partner Witney Carson, Carlos PenaVega was eliminated based on the judges' scores and viewer votes from the past two weeks.
PenaVega and his loving wife Alexa (who got the "DWTS" axe two weeks ago) shared their Christianity with viewers all season, and he told FOX411 backstage, "You gotta have a lot of faith [in this competition]. Anything can happen and my nerves would get to me before every dance and I would just sit there and Witney was amazing, she would pray with me. I came on the show to show God's love, the love that I had for everybody ... being a positive light."
Of elimination, he said, "No complaints. We're happy ... the only bummer is we didn't have a chance to win but it was a great experience.
"I got to learn about a lot of different things. I learned how these live shows work, how to dance, how to deal with Witney Carson," he laughed. "We had to basically become best friends for over three months, and that's not an easy thing ... that's more than I've seen my wife [this season] ... I had to learn how to be close with somebody of the opposite sex. There was just a lot going on. I think we did a great job. We got to the final four."
And PenaVega, whose hip hop freestyle featured him dancing with season 21's previously eliminated stars Alexa, Paula Deen, and Hayes Grier while dressed in a football jersey emblazoned with a "10," said he has a souvenir: "I'm taking the jersey. I don't care what 'DWTS' says!"
Also on Monday night's show, train hero Alek Skarlatos made it through to the finale with a score of 57 out of 60 for his two dances, the most impressive of which was a freestyle based on an army obstacle course.
During the routine, Skarlatos and partner Lindsay Arnold climbed a wall with ropes and had to fall off of it backwards for a dramatic ending.
Backstage, Judge Carrie Ann Inaba told FOX411 that the Army National Guardsman who helped disarm a terrorist on a Paris train this summer has truly learned how to dance.
"He's so steadfast and so powerful and so consistent that it's hard for him to go wrong. He proved himself worthy," Inaba said, also giving credit to Arnold.
Backstreet Boy Nick Carter will be joining Irwin and Skarlatos in Tuesday night's "DWTS" grand finale after his perfect 60 night with partner Sharna Burgess. He performed to the Backstreet Boys song "Larger Than Life" in an energetic concert-themed freestyle.
"I want to win," Carter said in rehearsal footage.
But who WILL win?
Longtime Judge Inaba told reporters, "It's hard," but added, "Bindi's been the front-runner. I think a lot of people are thinking that Bindi could take this home."
However, Inaba cautioned, "I would be a little worried when somebody seems to be such a front-runner. Sometimes people forget to vote. We've seen crazy things happen and upsets."
Tuesday's "DWTS" will show who gets to take home the famous mirror ball trophy for season 21.