Fans of MTV’s Jersey Shore recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the reality show’s debut by enjoying a series of photos and videos that were uploaded to Instagram by the show and its stars. While many fans found the posts a fun way to reflect on the show’s television history, some fans wondered why original cast member Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola was not included in the official anniversary photo.
The controversy began when Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino posted the new pic to his Instagram page. The photo included cast members Vinny Guadagnino, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Angelina Pivarnick, Deena Nicole Cortese, and Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio.
The photo shows cast members gathered around a cake commemorating the occasion. The confection depicted some of the most iconic moments from the MTV series, including the duck phone, a photo of the shore house, a current cast photo, and a silhouette of a map of New Jersey where the series was filmed.
Fans quickly commented on Sammi’s absence from the photo, wondering why she would not be recognized either in the photo, or at least, commemorated in some way on the cake that was laid out before the cast.
One fan commented on the reality star’s absence from the photo, “Where’s Sammi?”
“Why is everyone mentioning Sam I mean I love her but she chose to not live this life anymore! Get over it ppl! And leave Angelina alone like let her live dam lol,” said a second viewer of the series, who had their own take on why the former reality star was excluded from the photo.
A third fan commented, “Someone photoshop Sam in!”
After six seasons as a cast member of the original MTV Jersey Shore series, Sammi no longer wanted to be a part of the franchise that made her a reality show superstar when the show was rebooted as Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.
She spoke out on her Instagram page in a post dated in March 2018. She detailed that she no longer wanted to be a part of “potentially toxic situations,” but that she loved her “roomies” and all the opportunities being on the show had presented to her.
Sammi’s reluctance to participate in the reunion series likely had something to do with her bad breakup with Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, whom she dated throughout the reality series. The relationship between the then 20-somethings was toxic, with many of the show’s episodes focusing on their verbal and physical battles.
Sammi did appear in one special that aired prior to the reunion series, titled Jersey Shore Roadtrip Reunion, which Ronnie was not a part of. It aired in June 2017, and she appeared in a Twitter post from pal Deena which commemorated the occasion.
The jewelry designer was also remembered for her part in the series by two of her former cast mates, Mike and Jenni, as each shared the same throwback photo from 2009 featuring the original cast on the day of the anniversary.
The former reality star has moved on from her Jersey Shore past, preferring to focus on her upcoming wedding to fiance Christian Biscardi. The two became engaged in March of this year.