Ronnie Ortiz-Magro came face-to-face with ex Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola’s new man, Justin May, on Jersey Shore: Family Vacation. The men met during the Thursday, May 9, episode, which was filmed during a cast trip to Arizona in November 2023.

While Sammi, 37, and Justin, 35, were already in Arizona for the trip, Ronnie, 38, joined during a group dinner. He went around the table to greet everyone and shook Justin’s hand when he approached the couple. Justin was cordial and introduced himself, while Sammi and Ronnie did not interact.

“That wasn’t on my Bingo card,” Vinny Guadagnino admitted, while Angelina Pivarnick pointed out, “That was nice.” On the cast’s previous trip to Nashville, which Justin didn’t attend, Ronnie and Sammi’s first post-breakup interaction was extremely awkward, as he simply said to her, “Hey, how are you?” amid a round of greetings. She did not respond.

“I didn’t expect that to happen,” Paul “Pauly D” Delvecchio said, regarding Ronnie and Justin’s interaction. “Justin is such a standup guy for doing that. I think that’s a really respectable move.” As Ronnie continued to hug the rest of the cast, Sammi told Justin, “You’re a good sport.”

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In a confessional, she added, “For me, I’m actually like, ‘Ah, no!’ I don’t want my boyfriend and my ex shaking hands. Nobody wants that. But at the end of the day, I would rather have this be peaceful than one of the most uncomfortable, awkward situations. And it just reassures me that I made the right choice with the right guy.”

The next day, Ronnie and Vinny, 36, discussed the situation. “I saw [Justin] in the gym this morning,” the New York native revealed. “He said, ‘What’s up?’I said, ‘Good morning.’ That was it.”

“I think that me and Justin, honestly, have a better chance of being friends before me and Sam,” Ronnie told producers. He also said that his handshake with Justin “showed maturity” and said he was “happy about” how things went down.

Ronnie and Sammi met on the original Jersey Shore in 2009 and dated on-and-off until 2014. When the show returned as Family Vacation in 2018, Sammi opted not to take part in filming. However, after Ronnie stepped away from the show following his May 2021 arrest, his ex eventually decided to return. She made her comeback during season 6, which aired in 2023. Amid Sammi’s return, Ronnie also realized he was ready to rejoin the cast, and was welcomed back during a season 6 cast trip. He and Sammi did not film any scenes together at the time.

When filming resumed for season 7, Sammi accepted that she would have to work with Ronnie again. “It’s just, like, a coworker at this point,” she said. She and Justin got engaged in March.

Jersey Shore: Family Vacation airs on MTV Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.

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