The Seaside Heights squad is heading back to TV, but not every member of this clubbing, fighting, and gym-tan-laundering clan will return for one more reality TV reunion. On Thursday, Jersey Shore Family Vacation will premiere on MTV, promising just as much raucous debauchery as the show's original run — if not more. However, while Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Jenni "JWOWW" Farley, Vinny Guadagnino, Deena Cortese, Paul "Pauly D" Delvecchio, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, and Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino will return to their former fist-pumping glory, one person is staying behind. Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola will not appear in the series, but she does have a controversial stand-in who will.
Last week, Sammi took to Instagram to share exactly why she would not be participating in the new show, which would have reunited her with the people she grew close to during the show's 2009 to 2012 run.
"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 my relationship," the former reality star wrote in a post on Instagram. "I am not the same 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. However, it was a difficult decision as I love my roomies. I’ve decided to focus on me, my future and what truly makes me happy. I will forever be grateful to Jersey Shore and everything it has brought to me! I’ve just decided to live my life for me these days. Also I am forever grateful & thankful for all of you!! Special shout out to my fans, but I’m not going anywhere!"
That "toxic" situation could refer to her relationship with Ronnie, whom she met while filming the series. The two had a volatile romance, which was documented by the cameras. However, the pair were more than just made for reality TV: They were last spotted together in 2016, vacationing in Italy, though the two reportedly broke up not long afterwards. Ronnie then began dating another reality TV personality: Malika Haqq, from Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Dash Dolls, whom he met on the show Famously Single. The couple split up in February of 2017.
While Sammi does not appear on Jersey Shore Family Vacation, her former roommates couldn't resist getting jokes in at her expense — out of love, we assume. According to TMZ, the gang has repurposed an "adult" doll to look like Sammi. Per JWoww's interview with TMZ, Sammi was informed of Jersey Shore Family Vacation recasting her in such a way — but, JWoww told the outlet, if Sammi wants the doll to be put on the shelf, she will have to show up to the party.
Sammi may not come back to the beach house anytime soon, but the Jersey girls did get together to celebrate Sammi's 30th birthday back in March of 2017. Maybe Sammi's friendship with her old roommates is just one best kept off camera.