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Circus Performer Antonio Sabato Jr. Faces Death!

Antonio Sabato Jr. has quite the juggling act going on these days, balancing his derring-do as a Celebrity Circus performer (Wednesdays at 10 pm/ET, on NBC) with his return to Port Charles by way of SOAPnet's General Hospital: Night Shift. Sabato shared with us a look inside the two gigs, one utterly foreign and frightful, the other familiar and fun. TVGuide.com: Obviously there are a lot of reasons why to do Celebrity Circus, and reasons why not. How did you arrive at your own decision to give it a shot?                                    &nb

Matt Webb Mitovich
Antonio Sabato Jr. has quite the juggling act going on these days, balancing his derring-do as a Celebrity Circus performer (Wednesdays at 10 pm/ET, on NBC) with his return to Port Charles by way of SOAPnet's General Hospital: Night Shift. Sabato shared with us a look inside the two gigs, one utterly foreign and frightful, the other familiar and fun.

TVGuide.com: Obviously there are a lot of reasons why to do Celebrity Circus, and reasons why not. How did you arrive at your own decision to give it a shot?                                     
Antonio Sabato Jr.: They told me what kind of routines I would be able to do, and I thought it'd be a challenge and an honor. It's pretty extraordinary, so I could not refuse. There is the physical aspect, sure, but also the mental challenge to do something like this in a short amount of time is pretty cool.

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TVGuide.com: In what ways did you figure you were qualified to do it? Or is that somewhat beside the point?    
Sabato Jr.: I didn’t think about that. I'm the kind of guy who just goes for it. I knew it was going to be really hard, but I didn’t think it would be this hard.

TVGuide.com: Last week, we saw you on the Chinese Poles. What was most difficult about that — outside of getting into the outfit?                                                                                  
Sabato Jr.: [Laughs] Everything about it was difficult. Until the actual time of the routine, there were certain things I was scared to do, like the jump from pole-to-pole, the "flag" at the beginning.... I wanted to make it perfect because that was the only Chinese Pole act in the whole show. I was the only celebrity who tried to do it.

TVGuide.com: This week, you tackle the Wheel of Death. Is your routine working out as well as expected?               
Sabato Jr.: The thing with the Wheel of Death is I had four days to learn it. I trained for the flying trapeze for two months. When we got closer to that performance, they told me that was not going to happen. The producers came to me and said, 'You’ve got to do the Wheel of Death.' I had last Wednesday to train, Thursday I had Night Shift, so I couldn’t train, I had Friday, and then yesterday I trained a little bit. The Wheel of Death is really scary, and I crashed a few times. I was bleeding out of the top of my head last week when I hit a piece of metal. I said, "OK, I don't want to do this anymore. I don’t have time." Then I went home and decided I had to do it. I went back and put a routine together.

TVGuide.com: Christopher Knight, Rachel Hunter, Stacey Dash... they’ve all been out there discussing how they got hurt during different routines. Have you been lucky or just suffering silently through your own in injuries?                                 
Sabato Jr.: That’s pretty much it. There was a point where, because my left wrist was broken earlier in my life, I couldn’t take the pain, so I put some ice on it. But I love the pain. If it's not painful, it's not hard, I can't get into it. If I'm getting up for the morning with that pain, I feel like I'm doing the right thing.

TVGuide.com: Speaking of superhuman endurance, you're a bit of a Batman buff. Excited for Dark Knight?                     
Sabato Jr.: Oh yeah. It looks good. I'm a big fan of Frank Miller, so I know what direction they are going in. It's going to be great!

In Soaps News: Antonio Sabato Jr. previews his return to Port Charles. (Might it involve... Brenda?!)