Vincent Pastore, best known as “Big Pussy” on The Sopranos, has bowed out of Dancing with Stars, just weeks before the premiere of the show’s fourth season. The 60-year old actor cited the “physical demands of a 10-week season” as one of the reasons for his abrupt departure. Pastore isn’t the most in shape of people and given his age, I really can’t blame him for his decision. I was skeptical of his dancing potential from the beginning.
You have to applaud Pastore for giving ABC and Dancing with the Stars enough time to find a reasonable replacement. For me, I’m not a big fan of the token “older male who is bad at dancing but provides comic relief” contestant. Like Jerry Springer, I was expecting Pastore to take over this role. What this does is keep better dancers off the show in favor of these less-talented, yet more entertaining men. Now, the question is: Who will replace Pastore?
Will Dancing with the Stars look to fill the slot with the a similar personality to Pastore? I don’t know who that would be, but I’m guessing that ABC will simply be looking for the best contestant available. I can’t believe that Dancing with the Stars wouldn’t have back ups at the ready to fill in if needed. Two seasons ago the rapper Romeo had to back out of the competition due to injury and his father (Master P) stepped in to take his place. I don’t think that solution is an option with Pastore.
Expect an announcement replacement from Dancing with the Stars by the end of the week. However, I don’t think it matters. As much as I like Clyde Drexler and think Apolo Ohno may potentially be a good dancer, it’s all going to come down to the one, the only Steve Sanders. That’s right, my prediction to win Dancing with the Stars this season is Ian Ziering. You can put it in the bank.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer