The missing meatball. Jersey Shore diehards have long hoped that Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola will return to the show, but her former castmates don’t think it’s a possibility.
“I think it’s safe to say Sammi is no longer wanting to do this,” Deena Cortese exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, January 24, ahead of the Jersey Shore: Family Vacation season 6 premiere. “She’s just living her best life.”
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, for her part, confirmed that Sammi, 35, still has her blocked on social media. The Messyness cohost revealed in September 2022 that she discovered the snub when she tried to message her former costar. “I don’t know what I did,” Snooki told E! News at the time. “It’s unfortunate because we would love for her to come back. She’s a part of the show. I feel like it’s not full unless all of us are there. It’s sad.”
While Jenni “JWoww” Farley told Us that she’s not currently blocked, she quipped she’s “probably gonna be” after talking about it. Vinny Guadagnino, meanwhile, confirmed that Sammi doesn’t follow him — but she hasn’t blocked him, either.
“Honestly, she’s doing her own thing,” Deena, 36, said of Sammi. “So, why even talk about her?”
Sammi starred in the MTV original series for its entire run from 2009 to 2012, but she hasn’t appeared in any episodes of Family Vacation, which debuted in April 2018. “I am at a completely different place in my life right now focusing on my businesses and relationship,” the New Jersey native wrote via Instagram shortly before the reboot premiered. “I am not the same person as I was when I was 22. At 31, I am currently extremely happy in every aspect of my life and want to avoid potentially TOXIC SITUATIONS.”
Though Sammi didn’t return for more GTL with her roomies, she seemingly remained close to some of them, attending Snooki’s 2014 wedding to Jionni LaValle and Deena’s 2017 bridal shower.
During the original Jersey Shore, Sammi was in an off-and-on relationship with Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, who went on hiatus from Family Vacation in 2021 to focus on his mental health. When the revival series was announced in 2017, an insider told Us that Sammi decided not to join the cast because she wasn’t interested in reconnecting with Ronnie, 37.
“Everyone was invited to come on the show, but Sammi was the only one who didn’t want to,” the source explained in November 2017. “A big reason for that was because she didn’t want to be around Ronnie. She has been enjoying her life off of TV and didn’t want to change that.”
Last year, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino said he thought Sammi would have returned during Ronnie’s absence from Family Vacation, but that never happened. “I’m surprised that she hasn’t come back yet,” the Dancing With the Stars alum, 40, exclusively told Us in January 2022. “Maybe she’s not gonna surprise us on a vacation now that Ronnie’s not here.”
Season 6 of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation premieres on MTV Thursday, January 26, at 8 p.m. ET.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi