Jersey Shore is undoubtedly a cultural phenomenon. Since the MTV hit's December 2009 premiere, the people of America and Complex alike have been enthralled with the overly-tanned guidos and guidettes, welcoming terms like "grenade," "smush," and "GTL" into our everyday vernacular, and even teaching ourselves how to fist-pump like the best of them. Or was that just us?
The initial concept of the show, which concludes its fourth season tonight at 10pm EST, was simple: Throw eight hard-partying twenty-somethings together in a beach house at the Jersey shore and let them go crazy. What resulted were more than just your average Real World-esque antics, and, as a result, the audience took to the cast members and, being the celebrity-obsessed culture we are, began taking an interest in them as individuals.
One of Jersey Shore's most polarizing fist-pumpers is Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola. Immediately after she began what has evolved into TV's most tumultous on/off relationship with fellow cast-member Ronnie, it seemed like people couldn't stop putting in their two cents about the state of their affairs. #TeamSammi and #TeamRonnie hashtags trend on Twitter every Thursday night, dividing more people than political parties. Hey, if it trends on Twitter, you know you've made it in the world.
Complex recently had a chat with Sammi about the fourth season's now-infamous trip to Italy, how she handles criticism, and if she'd ever consider pursuing a career in Hollywood.
Written by Tanya Ghahremani (@tanyaghahremani)
Complex: First off, you just released a perfume,. Tell us about that.
Sammi Giancola: I’m so excited, I just released my new product. It’s called Dangerous—it’s dangerously sweet just like me. You can get it at [the official website] or at Mandee’s, and it’s something I’m really, really excited and proud of.
Was it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Yeah, of course. I love perfume, and this is one product and item that I felt like I wanted to fully represent to the tee, to one-hundred-percent. It was up to my liking, it was something that I really liked. I liked the smell of it, it was awesome, so I wanted to put my name on it.
Did you help come up with the name and the scent, or is it just an endorsement-type deal?
Me and my good friend Paul, we decided to do a perfume together, and we came up with the name and the scent and everything, and it all just worked out in the perfect way.
Well done. Now, onto everyone's favorite reality show. We’ve been watching this past season of Jersey Shore, and it’s very entertaining. What’s the one thing you think you took away from this past season in Italy?
I think just new friendships I took away. I became friends with the girls, and I never really had that before, so that was something that appreciated. I mean, one of my best friends is Deena in the house; I had a girlfriend that I was really close with, so I think overall just being cool with the girls was something that was cool.
Your relationship with Ron is obviously a big part of the show, and we’ve seen its progression from day one. This last season, a lot seemed to center around you and Ron trying to find a calmer, more peaceful state with one another. Would you say that’s been maintained since Italy?
Well, I think in Italy, which was cool, was like the whole relationship got a little bit different than the whole fighting. We kind of matured, so in Italy, overall, the experience was awesome for me.
I’m sure having a relationship on camera is especially tough.
I’ve maintained a relationship since day one, so for me that’s something that I was accustomed to. But it is difficult having a relationship, being on camera. I don’t think anyone understands really what goes on.
Do you ever go and watch the past episodes, and think, “Oh, I shouldn’t have done that."
Of course there’s things that I’m like, “Oh, man I dislike that part,” or, “Wow, I didn’t know that happened,” but I don’t regret anything. I learn from everything, and I just grow and move on from each episode.
What do you think of everything that’s been going on with Mike and Nicole in this past season?
I think that’s just the way Mike is. He’s kind of the troublemaker, he’s the manipulator, and his next victim was Nicole, and the poor thing… They kind of had a rough time in Italy.
So none of you guys were really surprised?
It’s Mike. It’s the way he is. So, you know, it was just his his next victim, his next victim was Nicole and he moved on to her, and he started causing problems and issue, and it’s just because that’s just the way he is.
We didn’t get to see a lot of the locals this season, save for the ones who tried picking fights in the clubs. How did the people of Italy take to you all?
For me, the locals were really, really nice. I had no problems with any of the locals. The waiters there were awesome, the Italians like helped us out when we needed it, they were really, really nice to me.
So you guys didn’t meet any hostility from people?
Yeah, there was last week’s episode in the club. There was some hostility from the Italian clubbers, but, I mean, it’s just like anywhere in the U.S., There’s some people that aren’t always positive towards us, and in Italy, the same thing goes.
What's the most shocking thing that happened this past season, in your opinion?
I don’t know! There’s a lot of shocking things that happened… I don’t know what’s my number one shocking event.
Nothing that just made you think, “Oh my God, I can’t even believe this is happening right now”?
I think, like, Deena making out with a girl, or Nicole hooking up with Vinny... That was like a really shocking thing to me. That’s really it.
Did you guys go directly from shooting in Italy to shooting in Jersey for the next season?
We went straight from Italy to Seaside, like directly there. So we, going into Seaside, couldn’t wait to get home and we’ve obviously been with each other for a while, so being in Seaside we’re extremely comfortable with each other.
So it wasn’t difficult not having any time between seasons?
It was a little bit difficult, but we made it work.
Does the drama on the show create itself?
It kind of creates itself. We have no TV, we have no computers, have no cell phones, we have no communication with the outside world, so we’re forced to bond with each other, and of course problems are going to arise and people are going to talk. We’re living with seven other roommates, so it’s a house full of drama.