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'Sopranos' star Vincent Pastore leaves 'Dancing with the Stars 4' cast

By Christopher Rocchio, 02/28/2007 

Before he was even able to waltz, tango or two-step in-front of a television audience, Vincent Pastore has withdrawn from the fourth season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars

On Wednesday the 60-year-old The Sopranos actor announced he was leaving the reality competition series after only one week of training due to the "physical demands of a 10-week season" that he felt would be "too difficult" to undertake.

"When I initially committed to joining Dancing with the Stars, I didn't realize just how physically demanding it would be for me," Pastore said in a statement released by ABC.  "Unable to put forth my best effort, I felt it appropriate to step aside and give someone else the opportunity."

Pastore thanked ABC and Dancing with the Stars producers for inviting him to participate.  He also wished his former partner Edyta Sliwinska and the other dancers "the best of luck."

Upon learning Pastore's decision, Dancing with the Stars executive producer Conrad Green described the mood as "sad" but understanding.

"He would have been great on the show -- but we appreciate him standing aside now rather than having to withdraw later," said Green. "Dancing with the Stars is physically demanding and it pays to know your limits. We respect his decision."

Pastore's early exit from Dancing with the Stars isn't the first time a contestant has left the reality competition series before an episode even aired.  Prior to its second season, rapper Romeo had to drop-out of the competition due to a basketball injury.  He was replaced by his father, rapper Master P.

ABC has yet to announce who will replace Pastore.  The fourth season of Dancing with the Stars is scheduled to premiere on Monday, March 19 at 8PM ET/PT with a special two-hour episode.

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