Fans of the original Jersey Shore rejoiced when Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola confirmed her return to reality TV for season 7 of the franchise’s spinoff, Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. Now that it’s been more than a decade since her exit from the show, fans are dying to know why Sammi wanted to return to the small screen.

Why Did Sammi Giancola Return to ‘Jersey Shore’? 

During a July 2023 interview on The View, Sammi explained why she decided to leave the series in December 2012. 

“I think when the show was just starting up again, I wasn’t in a good place,” Sammi admitted, before referring to her messy split from ex-boyfriend Ronnie Ortiz-Magro. “I was in a bad relationship. I was going through a lot. I didn’t want to put myself in another toxic environment again.”

Sammi then acknowledged why she chose to return for the Jersey Shore spinoff while clarifying that her 2012 departure wasn’t due to any beef with her castmates. 

“I feel like I’m in all good aspects of my life. I’m ready to come back. I missed everybody,” she noted. “It had nothing to do with the cast. It just felt like now was the right time to come back to everybody. It had to be the right time. … I did the show originally when I was 22. Being on a TV show is a lot. It’s very hard to go from a normal life to being on a TV show.” 

Sammi Giancola wearing a white blouse and black pants on the red carpet while holding a black clutch purse
David Hunt/BFA/Shutterstock

Why Did Sammi Giancola Leave ‘Jersey Shore’? 

Nearly six years after Sammi exited Jersey Shore, she was approached to return for Family Vacation in 2018. However, she issued a public statement at the time, explaining the reason behind her choice not to sign onto the show. 

“I have chosen not to join the show this season because I am at a completely different place in my life right now focusing on my businesses and relationship,” Sammi wrote in a March 2018 Instagram post. “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 she didn’t mention her ex-boyfriend by name at the time, Sammi was seemingly hinting at her and Ronnie’s former tumultuous relationship by citing “toxic situations.” 

Four years later, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi alleged that there was drama between her, Sammi and their other castmate Jenni “JWoww” Farley. During a September 2022 interview, Snooki claimed that Sammi blocked her and Jenni on social media. 

“I went to go message her a while ago and she blocked me,” Snooki claimed. “I don’t know what I did. 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.”

How Long Were Sammi Giancola and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro Together? 

Sammi and Ronnie started dating in 2009, and their on-and-off relationship was featured on Jersey Shore until she left in 2012. After multiple ups and downs, the former couple split for good in 2014. 

Since then, Sammi moved on with current boyfriend Justin May, whereas Ronnie began dating his ex-fiancée, Saffire Matos, in 2020. After multiple breakups and reconciliation, the two split for good in July 2022. Previously, Ronnie welcomed his daughter, Ariana Sky, with ex Jen Harley in April 2018.