Jersey Shore and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi might not be synonymous anymore. While the MTV series launched her career–from women’s fashion to baby strollers–Snooki opted out of the reality show after the blowup at co-star Angelina Pivarnick’s wedding. Season 4 of Family Vacation was renewed with Snooki and doesn’t appear that she’s going to have any cameo appearances at all. That means for the first time in Jersey Shore history the roommates will be partying without one of their favorite meatballs.
The star said on her podcast in December 2019 that she was “retiring” from the show that made her a household name because she wants to spend more time with her family.
The announcement came on the heels of Snooki–as well as Deena Cortese and Jenni “JWoww” Farley–facing backlash for a bridesmaids speech they gave at Angelina’s wedding. They didn’t mean to hurt the bride, and Snooki threatened to quit the series after the blowback.
“I’m quitting, I think,” Snooki told Deena at the wedding, as noted by Nicki Swift. “I think this is it. This is not fun.”
While Angelina’s wedding might have been the catalyst for the decision, she hinted in earlier interviews that she didn’t like being away from her family. Snooki married husband Jionni LaValle in 2014 and they welcomed three children together: 7-year-old Lorenzo, 5-year-old Giovanna and 1-year-old Angelo.
In fact, Jionni was “nervous” about his wife returning to Jersey Shore Family Vacation in 2018 after the show returned to MTV from its hiatus. It was up to Jionni to take care of the children. “I just think he was scared,” Snooki told Newsweek at the time. “He was like, ‘I’m gonna miss you… what am I going to do when the kids are crying for you at night?’
Still, her co-stars are hopeful she’ll return.
“We’re still leaving the door open for her return,” Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino told E! News. “She’s a legend and I’m going to remain positive. I think maybe in the next year, we might see her come back in some capacity.”
“I’m being hopeful but at the same time…we’ve known each other for over 10 years, almost 150 episodes of TV and the dynamic is, to be honest, magic,” he added. “I think you guys are really going to be happy with what you see.”
Snooki Has Changed Since Jersey Shore First Started
She’s also not the same person who joined Jersey Shore as a 24-year-old in 2009. With three children, a podcast, and multiple business ventures, partying isn’t as fun for the pint-sized star. During another interview with Newsweek, the star learned she couldn’t drink the way she used to when she returned to film the first season of Family Vacation.
“We can’t really party like we used to, so we kinda just raged the entire time,” the MTV alum told Newsweek. “We literally died the first week.”
Snooki wasn’t even used to dressing up anymore. “I couldn’t even walk in heels anymore. Like when I’m home, I don’t wear heels. I wear sneakers,” she told the publication in a separate 2018 interview. “I don’t even dress up… So it was a struggle for me to put makeup on every day and be a presentable human being because I’m a stay-at-home mom.”
Even though she enjoyed hanging out with her roommates during the first season of Family Vacation, she missed her family. “It took two days before she longed for her kids. “I just cried in the shower at night, because I missed the kids all the time,” she said. “I was having withdrawals and was homesick.”
She Was Afraid About How Jersey Shore Might Affect Her Marriage
After the alcohol had left her system, Snooki admitted that she might have been overdramatic during some scenes on Jersey Shore Family Vacation, but she was afraid that her marriage might be affected by her return to the MTV series.
Aside from missing her children and not being able to “rage” like she used to, there was also her former attraction to co-star Vinny Guadagnino. Nothing happened between the two to ruin her marriage, but it was something that worried her.
“It’s just me being drunk and dramatic and I just worry so much about Jionni getting mad about things that he would never get mad about,” Snooki told Entertainment Tonight Online in 2019. “So when I’m drunk, I’m like, ‘Oh my god, you said I looked pretty! You cant say that!’ Like, it’s all in my head and I’m crazy.”
Snooki Said Jersey Shore Wasn’t Her Life Anymore
While talking to her friend Joey Camasta on their “It’s Happening” podcast, she admitted that her children are the most important thing to do. And while she’s happy to meet with the cast and film for a dinner, she didn’t want to be away from her kids for long periods of time.
“I hate being away from the kids, I don’t like partying three days in a row, it’s just not my life anymore,” the star explained. “And I wanna be home with the kids. I don’t mind a here or there going to a dinner or whatever, but it’s just really hard on me to leave the kids and film the show.”
Even though her former co-stars decided to go ahead with the fourth season of Family Vacation, Snooki told People in May 2020 that she didn’t regret her decision. “I needed to move on,” she says. “It’s just not for me anymore. Drama has never been my thing. Especially now, I don’t want to leave my kids and not see them for days on end to do that,” she said. “I want to leave and have a good time with my friends and roomies, and then come home and be a mom.”
“So this season was very stressful, and I just wasn’t having fun,” Snooki added. “I want to do something that’s more uplifting in my life.”
To find out what happens next, don’t miss Season 4 of Jersey Shore Family Vacation when it airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. Eastern time on MTV, starting November 19.