Jersey Shore’s Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola
It never ceases to amaze me: the phenomenon of the reality-TV star. One minute she’s throwing back shots at some dreary college bar; the next minute she’s throwing back shots on a runaway MTV hit, an object of fascination for millions of target-market viewers ages 12 to 34 (I’m totally making up that age range, by the way—clearly skewing the high end to make sure I’m still included).
When I interviewed Jersey Shore’s Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola at the Dana Hotel last night in advance of OK! Magazine’s fifth-anniversary party at Vertigo Sky Lounge, all the usual celebrity trappings were in place. There were the bright lights. The step-and-repeat. The handlers. (When one reporter asked for a fist pump, an MTV rep intervened, saying, “No, she’s good; she’s not into that.”) And yet Sammi walked in right on time, tan, fresh-faced, and a little shy but ready to tackle the swarm of reporters, me included, all awaiting our five minutes with her—and, no doubt, all rehearsing the same list of questions, since there wasn’t much left after ticking off MTV’s rundown of prohibited topics (the third season of Jersey Shore, the recent US Weekly cover on Snooki’s alleged eating disorder).
And one final rule? No questions about Sammi’s personal life. Really? But isn’t that what this whole reality-TV thing is all about? Oh, well. Here’s what I got:
Facebook was down for a couple of hours today, and everyone was freaking out. Did you know about that? Is Sammi a Facebook or a Twitter girl?
Both. I love Facebook and Twitter. Twitter helps me understand and interact with my fans, and Facebook is more for keeping up with my close friends and family.
You’re looking so slim and fit these days. How do you make sure all that tanning and clubbing doesn’t take its toll?
I try not to eat junk, and I like to work out. Right now I’m really focused on keeping myself happy and not stressing. Spray tans are my new thing. I have one right now.
What are Sammi’s essentials for a great night out?
A good tan. Lip gloss. Hair straightened. And just let yourself have a good time. Don’t be bored or mad when you go out. Just enjoy yourself.
What’s your go-to cocktail?
Captain [Morgan’s] and ginger ale. It doesn’t even taste like a cocktail, just like some sweet fruity drink.
What are some of the most amazing clubs you’ve partied at since you started traveling for appearances?
To be honest, I don’t remember any of their names, but I really enjoy the New York scene. I feel the most at ease and at home there.
What have been your most and least favorite Jersey Shore moments of the current season?
Being on the beach in Miami was amazing. The beaches there are gorgeous. My least favorite moments were when I found out the guy I loved was cheating on me and when I lost two friends.
Yeah, that doesn’t sound great. Has everyone made up?
One day we love each other; the next day we hate each other. That’s Jersey.
What are your plans for when the show eventually ends?
Maybe I’ll do something in fashion designing or styling, or get into hair extensions or other products. I was studying sociology in college and I was a big soccer player. That’s something not a lot of people know about me. I’m a girly girl, but I’m also a secret tomboy.
Photography: Nikki Bruce