In the years since the stars of Jersey Shore returned to MTV for a surprisingly popular spin-off, the show has seen several casting shake-ups.
Mike Sorrentino went to prison, causing him to miss a stretch of episodes.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi briefly quit the show in response to the fallout from her disastrous speech at Angelina Pivarnick’s wedding.
Snooki has returned to the cast on a full-time basis for Jersey Shore Family Vacation Season 5 — just in time for another departure …
Ron Magro appeared in the season premiere, but we won’t be seeing much of him in future episodes.
Despite rumors that Magro had been fired following his second domestic violence arrest, it seems that Ronnie was allowed to take a temporary hiatus from the show in order to focus on his mental health.
With all these changes among the core Shore gang — and with many calling for Magro to be removed from the cast permanently — fans have returned to a question that’s been on their minds ever since the spin-off was announced:
When will Sammi Giancola return to the franchise that made her famous?
When JSFV first kicked, off Sammi was engaged to Christian Biscardi, and she indicated that she was happier than ever and had no intention of reacquainting herself with the “toxic presences” that made her twenties so chaotic.
(Sammi never mentioned Ron by name, but it was clear that she was referring to her hot-tempered ex.)
These days, however, Sammi has ended her relationship with Biscardi, and many viewers are hoping that she’ll serve as a permanent replacement for Ronnie.
After all, why should the abuser get to keep the cushy, seven-figure gig?
Sorrentino brought this issue to the forefront again this week when he mentioned the possibility of Sammi’s return during an interview with Life & Style.
“I’m definitely surprised that [Sammi] hasn’t come back yet, especially since Ron is absent. You know, just all of our lives have matured and moved on,” Mike told the outlet.
“Instead of documenting us in her twenties, it’s documenting us in her thirties,” he continued.
Sorrentino admitted that he doesn’t know if Sammi is planning to return to the show anytime soon, but he says he’s confused by the fact that it hasn’t happened yet.
“I don’t know if she’s gonna surprise us in the future,” Mike told Life & Style, noting that other cast members, such as Snooki and Angelina Pivarnick, have left the show only to return triumphantly.
“You never know. I don’t see why she hasn’t yet come back.”
It sounds like the door is open for Sammi to return if and when she feels like it — but there might be a new factor complicating her decision.
In November, Sammi confirmed that she’s dating Justin May by posting a photo of the two of them on her Instagram page.
Little is known about the romance, but insiders say Sammi’s previous relationship with Christian was a big part of why she chose not to return to Shore.
Apparently, she felt that by living under the same roof as her ex, she would be putting her engagement in peril.
Does she have the same concerns about her relationship with Justin?
Might she feel differently about the gig now that Ronnie has temporarily stepped away?
We can’t say for sure — but it seems that Sam’s fans and her former castmates would love to see her step back into her old role as “the sweetest b-tch you’ll ever meet.”