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Sammi Giancola and Deena Cortese.

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Jersey Shore’s Deena and Sammi on Their Off-Camera Friendship, the Status of SamRon, and Returning to Seaside

Between Sammi Giancola and Deena Cortese, Jersey Shore saw some golden moments this season. Deena might take the prize for most ridiculous antics — the girl-on-girl make-outs, the pregnancy scare, her failed attempt to “do sex” with Pauly D. — but Sammi deserves points for her role in The Situation’s infamous head-bashing. We chatted with the guidettes ahead of last night's incredibly dull season finale about being off-camera BFFs, what to expect when they return to Seaside, and Deena’s Meatball problems.

This was obviously a very turbulent season, and as you sat down to your final Sunday dinner, I got the sense that no one was sad to be going home. Were you glad to leave?
Sammi: Overall, we loved Florence, but we all just missed home. We’d been there for, like, a month and a half. We really wanted to get back to our family, back to our friends. We missed our normal stuff like hair straighteners and normal food.

Obviously the show does a lot of editing, but all we really saw this season was you guys hanging out in the apartment and at the clubs. Did you do any sightseeing or cultural stuff while you lived in Italy?
Deena: That’s one thing I was really upset about. Me and Sam are actually extremely close, and they didn’t show that. They just showed her being my mom, but in reality she’s my best friend in the house right now. We would tour during the day, me and Sam. We would go shopping, we would get gelato, we would, like, go and just hang out by the bridge. We had so much fun together and they didn’t show any of that. They just showed me falling a lot.

Sammi, what’s the latest with you and Ronnie?
Sammi: Um, you know how that goes. Every day there’s something new.

Still together?
Sammi: You never know, I’m happy right now. That’s all that matters.

So, regarding your relationship status, the answer is that you’re happy?
Sammi: Yeah. You never know with me and Ron. One day we’re together, the next day we’re not.

When Snooki and Jionni were going through all their drama, Jenni kept calling her Sam and giving her a hard time for acting like you. That was really mean, but you were a good sport about it.
Sammi: Yeah, it wasn’t the time or place to start a fight over that. The girl’s boyfriend is about to leave Italy, she was going through a rough time. Granted, if it was any other time, Jenni would have gotten something from me. But I really had to suck in my pride. It was an awkward situation.

Deena, you mentioned throughout the season that you felt like you were “going through something.” There was the hookup with the twin, the pregnancy scare — you were more emotional than usual. You said for a while that you were trying to get to the bottom of that. Did you? Was something specific going on or was it just the stress of being away from home?
Deena: I think I was so homesick that I started putting in my head that people were against me and that I couldn’t trust anyone. I missed my mom and my family. It was the first time I was away from home for that long, or that far away, so I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was just kind of mentally abusing myself. Luckily my roommates were there and got me through it. When I got back to Jersey, it was a whole other ball game. I was back to being normal.

Did you ever get any love from Pauly?
Sammi: Oh, they love each other.
Deena: We do, we love each other. He’s like my best friend and it’s better off we didn’t hook up. I was having issues talking to guys over there, so I think he’s who I clinged to the most. I think I got confused with friendship and actual real feelings.

During that episode with the pregnancy scare, you were really worried about what your family would think. What was their reaction when they watched?
Deena: My mom and my dad, they know how I am. They were like “Woo hoo! At least you’re not pregnant! Yay!” They’re the most down-to-earth people and they support me through thick and thin.

Things are still tense between Mike and the rest of the house. Where does that stand?
Sammi: [Laughs.]
Deena: You know what it is? Mike will be Mike. He’s one of our roommates. At this point, we accept him for every part of him.

You’ve already shot season five. What can we look forward to?
Deena: It’s a lot more comedy and fun. It’s lighter.
Sammi: We went straight from Italy to Seaside, so you’re going to see us react to living together for such a long time, and how we adjust to being back home.

So fun isn’t a word you’d use to describe your time in Italy?
Deena: I was just homesick, so I couldn’t appreciate it. It was a lot to get used to. By the time we were used to everything, it was time to leave. Italy was fun but —
Sammi: We missed our home.
Deena: Yeah. I’m a Jersey girl. I love Jersey.

Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images