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Vincent Pastore Withdraws From ABC's Dancing with the Stars

Get ready for the jokes.

Citing the physical demands of the 10-week training session, Vincent Pastore, who played Big Pussy on HBO’s The Sopranos, has withdrawn from the fourth edition of ABC’s upcoming Dancing With the Stars.

“When I initially committed to joining Dancing with the Stars, I didn’t realize just how physically demanding it would be for me,” said Pastore, 60. “Unable to put forth my best effort, I felt it appropriate to step aside and give someone else the opportunity. I’d like to thank ABC and the show’s producers for inviting me to participate. I wish my partner, Edyta, and the other dancers the best of luck.

Commenting on Pastore’s withdrawal following one week of training, DWTS Executive Producer Conrad Green said, “We’re sad that Vincent felt he was unable to continue in the competition, as he would have been great on the show—but we appreciate him standing aside now rather than having to withdraw later. Dancing with the Stars is physically demanding and it pays to know your limits. We respect his decision.”

The producers hope to name a replacement by the end of this week for Pastore, who appeared on last season’s edition of VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club.

Others appearing on the upcoming DWTS, returning March 19 (B&C, Feb. 21), include Paul McCartney’s ex, Heather Mills; boxer and daughter of Muhammad Ali, Laila Ali; singer and actor Billy Ray Cyrus; former NBA star Clyde Drexler; actor and former *NSYNC member Joey Fatone; Game Show Network personality and former Miss USA Shandi Finnessey; celebrity television and radio personality Leeza Gibbons; Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno; model Paulina Porizkova; and former Beverly Hills 90210 star Ian Ziering.