Apart from Snooki And JWOWW, most of the former Jersey Shore crew have stayed out of the spotlight in the years since the show wrapped. However, they've all come back to television screens around for Jersey Shore: Family Vacation — all except Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola.
As most fans of the reality show will know, Sammi had an insanely toxic, tumultuous relationship with her co-star Ronnie. They were on again, they were off again, they were fighting, they were making up... it definitely added a ton of drama to the show, but probably wasn't too much fun for Sammi to experience. That's why, when the producers came to the cast members to ask them to return for a new season, she flat out refused. Social media has shown that she's still close with some of her former female co-stars, but she just doesn't want to be in the same house as Ronnie again — and we totally get it.
Regardless, Sammi "Sweetheart" is definitely on a lot of fans' minds as they're watching Jersey Shore: Family Vacation — so why not learn a little bit about the one former MIA cast member? Here are 15 things you may not have known about Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola.
15 Her Current Happy Relationship Is The Reason She's Not Returning For Jersey Shore: Family Vacation
When rumors started circulating about the fact that Sammi wasn't going to be returning to star with all her former cast members on the new season, fans everywhere were wondering why. After all, plenty of the cast had drama, and pretty much all of them are at different spots in their lives — why was she the only one who refused to return? Well, as has been reported in countless sources, she just didn't want to deal with the toxic drama that comes with that kind of a setting — and with seeing Ronnie again. Friend and former castmate, Snooki wasn't down to speak on Sammi's behalf, but she mentioned while talking about her own appearance that Sammi was "just in such a happy place I feel like she doesn't want to jump back into that drama."
14 She Now Co-Hosts A Podcast Called "Just Sayin'"
It's always interesting to see what reality stars do after fame, particularly ones who don't seem interested in prolonging their fame by appearing on countless other reality shows just to keep their name in the spotlight. Well, it turns out that Sammi, like several other celebrities, has turned to the trendy world of podcasting. Along with television host Clare Galterio and relationship expert Siggy Flicker, she hosts a podcast called "Just Sayin'." The trio chat about their own lives, celebrity rumors, trending topics and more — given that Sammi often didn't chat about more than partying and her drama with Ronnie on the show, it's kind of refreshing to hear her go on and on about every topic under the sun. She may be the new "Sweetheart" of the podcasting world!
13 She Was A Tomboy And Varsity Soccer Player
None of the women on Jersey Shore were quite as obsessed with the gym as the guys were — those guys weren't willing to skip a single ab day at the gym. However, that doesn't mean the girls, including Sammi, weren't into fitness. It turns out, even though Sammi "Sweetheart" always seemed like a total girlie girl on the show, she was actually a tomboy growing up who was totally into sports. Her sport of choice was soccer, and she wasn't just involved on a casual level. She played varsity throughout high school, and then played throughout university, and even was a member of a US soccer team that competed in international tournaments. We'd love to see a no-holds-barred game of soccer featuring the Jersey Shore crew — we have a feeling she'd totally cream Ronnie.
12 She Loves To Cook Healthy Foods
There are a lot of associations between Italians and a love of food, but in Sammi's case, it's true — she apparently really enjoys cooking and loves to cook healthy meals in particular. Apparently, all those years as an athlete had an impact on Sammi, and she makes it a priority to find fun, new healthy recipes to try out. For the cast's Sunday dinners in the house, we mostly saw classic Italian dishes like sausage and peppers or pasta, but who knows — perhaps if Sammi was back in the house this year, we'd be saying kale pizzas and roasted cauliflower. I mean, everyone loves pizza and pasta and all those delectable carb-filled Italian dishes, but there's only so much of that you can eat without totally undoing all the work you put in at the gym!
11 She Has A Sociology Degree
None of the cast really delved deep into intellectual matters on the show because, well, it was a show about partying and drinking. They were hardly going to discuss classic works of American literature while they were fist pumping and downing shots. However, it turns out that Sammi "Sweetheart" actually has a pretty solid head on her shoulders — she went to William Paterson University in her native New Jersey and ended up studying sociology. She seems happy where she's at in life now, but we have to admit — we kind of wish she'd decide to return to grad school just so she could write a dissertation on the guideway of life, and use all the examples she experienced first hand while she was partying it up on the shore in her younger days!
10 She Absolutely Loves The Ocean And Beach
There aren't many people who would turn down a day at the beach, enjoying the relaxing atmosphere, feeling the sand between their toes and the sun beating down on them. However, Sammi "Sweetheart" loves the beach more than most. As she confessed to Top5, "I am a Pisces and grew up living close to the beach. The atmosphere of the ocean and sand makes me feel at peace. I am a true Jersey beach girl. Ocean City, New Jersey has always been my favorite summer beach getaway." The beach atmosphere probably made all the drama during her time on the show a little easier to deal with. We hope that she's still able to enjoy her beach vacations without getting too hounded by former fans of the show!
9 She's One Of The Few Cast Members Who Is A Legit Jersey Girl
Here's one thing you may not know about some of the Jersey Shore crew — even though they claimed to be experts in the Jersey lifestyle, fist pumping with the best of them and GTL'ing all day, in reality, most of them weren't even from Jersey. Most of the crew were actually from various parts of New York, with Staten Island being the most popular hometown amongst them. However, Sammi "Sweetheart" actually is a true blue Jersey girl. She was raised in Hazlet, went to school in Jersey, and has been there her whole life. She's been going to the Jersey shore since she was much younger, far before she was hitting the bars to do lemon drops. I mean, what's not to love about the shore when there's no drama going down?
8 She's Always Had An Artistic Side
We always kind of assumed Sammi "Sweetheart" was more the artistic type than the scientific type, but we didn't really know just how into the arts she was. Apparently, as Sammi confessed to Top5, "I used to win contests when I was younger" and "I almost went to college for my drawing and painting skills, but instead decided to go to William Paterson University so that I could play soccer close to home." Who knew? Sammi seems to be dabbling in all kinds of creative fields, from fashion to podcasting, but perhaps one day she'll return to her love of drawing and painting and become a full-time artist. We have to admit, we'd love to see the kind of works she creates — is she a landscape artist, more into abstract, etc.
7 Her Favourite Ice Cream Combo Is Mint Chocolate Chip With Rainbow Sprinkles, Gummy Bears, And Caramel
The Jersey Shore crew, in between their time partying and recovering from partying, worked at various locations to provide some more material for the show. The most well-known is probably the T-Shirt shop gig, but they also spent some time working at an ice cream shop. And, thanks to her interview with Top5, we know her favorite ice cream combination — and it's a bit unusual. Apparently, Sammi used to go absolutely nuts for mint chocolate chip with rainbow sprinkles, gummy bears, and caramel. We're not sure how appealing the mint and caramel and candy combo sounds, but hey — people like what they like! However, she's now lactose intolerant, so she probably isn't enjoying quite as many ice cream cones nowadays. Who knows, though — perhaps every now and then she treats herself to her favorite combo.
6 She's Apparently Quite The Bookworm
Okay, we're certainly not saying that the Jersey Shore cast aren't intelligent, but one thing is for sure — none of them ever really seemed like bookworms. We're not sure if they just weren't allowed books in the house or not, but we weren't really treated to lengthy discussions about literature and reading lists. However, Sammi is apparently a big reader. She told Top5 that "my favorites are biographies, mysteries and love stories. I also really like novels that are set in the past — I love going back in time and learning about how things used to be!" Who knew? Perhaps one day Sammi will take a page out of Oprah and Reese Witherspoon's books and start her own book club — stranger things have certainly happened! We'd love to learn what she's reading.
5 Unlike Her Former Co-Star The Situation, She Has No Vices Beyond Drinking
It's no secret that the cast of Jersey Shore drank — a lot. As in, a ridiculous amount that sometimes kind of didn't seem safe. Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino publicly went through some struggles with substance dependence that he's since been battling, and some of them have been spotted smoking. However, for Sammi, no vices really captured her interest beyond alcohol. She's been outspoken about the fact that she doesn't smoke or take any illicit substances, which is good — can you even imagine what kind of explosive fights she and Ronnie would have had if they were something other than just drunk? Yikes! Regardless, we're happy that Sammi is all about healthy living — dependency is a difficult battle, as she can see from The Situation's struggle over the years.
4 She Had A Clothing Line Called Sweetheart Styles
Many celebrities or reality show stars, once they reach a certain level of fame, decide to enter the fashion world with a collection. After all, if you have tons of fans looking to purchase something with your name attached, why not produce some actual products for them? That's exactly what Sammi did back in 2013 with her clothing like, Sweetheart Styles. Now, needless to say, Sweetheart Styles didn't end up hitting the runway and competing alongside brands like Chanel and Dior. However, the line with activewear, dresses, tops, bottoms, and accessories apparently did well enough that it's still going, so way to go Sammi! We're not sure exactly how involved she is, but who knows, perhaps she'll end up becoming the next Victoria Beckham one day with a fashion empire under her belt.
3 She Also Launched A Fragrance Called Dangerous
If you've ever been in a drug store or spot that sells more inexpensive perfumes, chances are, you've seen a whole lot of bottles with celebrity faces on them. Everyone from Britney Spears to Paris Hilton to Jennifer Lopez has tried to get into the perfume game. Some actually managed to tap into the luxury market and create a higher end product, while others are trying to sell their scents at a lower price point to fans who want to smell like their favorite reality star. And, Sammi is one of many celebrities who tried to get into the perfume game — she endorsed two fragrances, Dangerous and Dangerous Desires. She's not going to be the next giant in the perfume world, but hey — why not make a little cash if you can?
2 Her Celebrity Crush Is Channing Tatum
In an interview with AlloyTV, Sammi "Sweetheart" dished a whole lot of things, including her celebrity crush — Channing Tatum. Now, it's not too hard to believe — there are women around the world who have crushes on Tatum, especially after his ab-filled movie Magic Mike premiered. For quite some time, he was happily married to wife Jenna Dewan Tatum. And for now, Sammi appears happy with her current boyfriend. However, who knows — perhaps if both of them end up single one day, and Channing has a thing for sweethearts, they'll end up together. I mean, they both know what being in the spotlight is like — although reality show fame and blockbuster movie fame are a little different. Who knows — stranger things have happened!
1 Her Favourite Healthy Snack Is Trail Mix
We never really saw a whole lot of healthy snacking on the show because, well, they were all drunk — they did things like eat slices of ham straight out of the package and eat leftover pizza, not prepare veggie plates with greek yogurt dip. However, in her time outside the shore house, Sammi is apparently a big fan of a particular healthy snack — trail mix. Now, everyone knows that trail mix can be a little tricky. If you include a ton of chocolate and other additions, a healthy nut-packed snack can turn into a candy bar, but still — if done right, it's a great snack packed with protein. Perhaps Sammi even mixes up her own custom trail mix — that's another product she could potentially put her name on!
References: celebritytoob.com, top5.com, famouscelebritybirthdays.com, sun-sentinel.com, youtube.com