Earlier this week, news of Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola’s return to Jersey Shore shocked fans of the hit reality show – and apparently the rest of the cast.
Sammi appeared in all six seasons of the original Jersey Shore, aired on MTV from 2009 until 2012.
But in the years that followed, the self-described “sweetest b*** you’ll ever meet” left the fist-pumping behind her and moved on to other things.
Staying true to her roots, the fashion-loving former reality star launched her online brand of clothing and accessories called Sweetheart Styles in 2013.
After a rocky on-and-off relationship with her Jersey Shore costar Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Sammi has also moved forward in her romantic life, finding love with fellow Jersey native and gymgoer Justin May.
In 2018, when her former castmates – Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Vinny Guadagnino, Deena Nicole Cortese, Angelina Pivarnick, and the aforementioned Ronnie – made their return to reality TV with the Family Vacation spin-off, Sammi was the only original star not to participate.
And so it came as a surprise to fans when, earlier this week, Jersey Shore’s official social media accounts revealed she was returning to the show.
According to TMZ, her comeback was also a major shocker for the rest of the cast.
Jersey Shore cast had ‘no idea’ of Sammi’s return
Sources close to the cast told the outlet that Sammi’s costars had “no idea” she would be showing up on set.
Insiders described her castmates’ reactions to the surprise appearance as “wild,” with Sammi’s return prompting “laughs, tears and everything in between.”
Moreover, everything went down on camera, and the drama will likely unfold in the second half of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation’s sixth season. However, the official air date for the episode featuring Sammi’s return to the show hasn’t been revealed.
Is this the reason for Sammi’s Family Vacation comeback?
Although it was a surprise for many, the timing makes sense for Sammi’s return to the show.
Back in 2018, when Family Vacation debuted, a source told Us Weekly that one “big reason” for Sammi’s absence was that “she didn’t want to be around Ronnie.”
“She has been enjoying her life off of TV,” the insider continued, “and didn’t want to change that.”
This was definitely understandable, as Sammi and Ronnie’s on-and-off relationship – which lasted from 2012 until 2014 – was famously turbulent.
Fans of the original Jersey Shore show will remember their constant fighting, blowout screaming matches that reliably ended in tears.
But in 2021, Ronnie stepped away from reality TV to seek professional mental health treatment after being arrested in a domestic violence incident.
So it makes sense that Sammi would take this opportunity to return to Jersey Shore – and we can’t wait to see what happens.
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation airs Thursdays at 8/7c on MTV.