Why Sammi Giancola Decided to Return to 'Jersey Shore' After a Decade (Exclusive)

Sammi Giancola
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The reality star, Sammi Sweetheart, opened up to ET about coming back to the franchise that made her famous years later.

Headed back into the spotlight! Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola is opening up about her return to the Jersey Shore franchise.

Giancola recently sat down with ET's Rachel Smith, and reflected on her decision to reunite with her former cast members for the upcoming episodes of Jersey Shore: Family Vacation, and why she stepped back from the world of reality TV after Jersey Shore originally ended.

"At the time, when everybody decided to go back to the show, I just was in a really like different place," Giancola recalled, referring to when the Jersey Shore spin-off series first premiered in 2018. "I was in a good spot in my life and felt like going back to the show may enter me into some toxic situations again."

"I really took the time to work on myself when I left the show back then. I really just didn't want to enter any negative or toxic situations again," she added. "When I did the show, you guys saw all my ups and downs... [I was] hearing all these things on social media, and it can take its toll on you. There was a lot of stress on me and I just felt like, 'I don't think I can enter myself in a world that's very stressful.' And I just didn't feel right at going back into it again."

Now, however, time has passed and mended a lot of old wounds, and Giancola is looking forward to rejoining her old friends. According to Giancola, her decision to not return initially didn't have to do with the cast.

"I love the cast," she shared. "I just wanted to stay away from all the bad energy. I just focused on things that made me happy and I think blocking the negativity and welcoming the positive things in [my] life was a big part  of like dealing with moving on with that stuff."

However, with Giancola not part of the new series, a lot of her relationships with her castmates "fizzled" over the years.

"I did talk to the cast when I left the show, they were all great. But then it’s just hard when they're continuing on something that I no longer decided to go through with. And everyone had families and they're moving on with their lives," she said. "It was like everybody was busy with their careers and doing their own things and our relationships just kinda fizzled."

"It was like not negative, so like I never went to press or spoke bad about them, like it was not like a negative thing that happened," she explained. "We just went our own ways."

Now that she's come back, Giancola says she's thankful to be welcomed back with open arms by the show's producers and her old friends.

"When I left, I was always grateful for my experience, to be on the show and to be a part of it, so I'm even more grateful now that I'm able to do it again," she said. "I really missed out on a lot of time being with them."

The first half of Jersey Shore Family Vacation's sixth season ended with the shocking return of Giancola, and the second installment will give fans even more from the unexpected reunion.

ET recently spoke with the returning cast -- which includes Paul "Pauly D" DelVecchioNicole "Snooki" PolizziMichael "The Situation" SorrentinoJenni "JWoww" FarleyVinny GuadagninoAngelina Pivarnick and Deena Nicole Cortese -- and they opened up about having Giancola come back into the mix.

"I thought it was amazing to see the dynamic in real-time," Sorrentino shared of her return. "It was almost like the filming didn't stop in [11] years. The first day that we started filming was like yesterday, so it was really amazing."

Jersey Shore: Family Vacation returns Aug. 3 on MTV.