“Teen Mom 2” has shown the many ups and downs of Jenelle Evans’ life over the past four seasons, and Season 5 — premiering Tuesday (Jan. 21) — will continue to document her struggles as a teen mother.
However, Evans thinks that being on the MTV reality show has actually affected her in positive ways.
“I think being on the show helped me because I saw my flaws and I saw what I was doing wrong and I wanted to correct myself,” Evans tells Zap2it. “But after every season I ended up giving up, and in the fourth season I turned to drugs. Seeing myself go through that really motivated me to just constantly be positive and do well for myself and be focused on getting better and putting all my focus on [son] Jace.”
Of all the “Teen Mom” casts, the “Teen Mom 2” mothers seem to be the most popular, based on how many times they show up in headlines and how many seasons they’ve been given. “I think the reason why we’re so popular is because our stories are just so different. We all have our own problems and deal with them in our own ways,” Evans says. “It’s not just the same storyline for each girl. It’s something different every time. People can relate to something from every girl.”
She continues, “Whether it’s Kailyn [Lowry] with her family issues, or Chelsea [Houska] with boyfriend issues, and then Leah [Messer] has Ali’s problems, her and Jeremy, and she has a new baby, and then you have me with a horrible last season. But I got through a drug addiction, so everyone can relate to one of our problems at least, or a couple or three of our problems.”
A study was recently released claiming that “16 and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” has actually helped to lower the U.S. teen birth rate, and Evans is really pleased with the news. According to her, since MTV didn’t have anything to do with the study the results are even more powerful.
“I think it’s awesome that they did that study. They did extensive research and it proves that our show is about the struggles and does not glamorize teenage pregnancy,” Evans says. “Everyone thinks, ‘Oh they make so much money,’ but when we go on trips it’s strictly business. It’s not to party or have fun. We’re promoting safe sex and trying to prevent teenage pregnancy. And no, we’re not rich. We have a lot of expenses just like everybody else.”
So what can viewers expect to see this season from Evans, aside from her controversial decision to get an abortion? “Jace is starting to crawl and he really loves that,” Evans says. “He’s also in a teaching daycare, so he’s learning his numbers and letters and how to spell his name, spell words out, and I get his worksheets at the end of the day so it’s really awesome to see his progress and to see how smart he is.”
Evans also hopes that Season 5 will draw in new viewers, even if they haven’t tuned in to previous seasons. “I would say that people should watch to see a different side to me and to see that our problems and struggles do continue no matter what age the kids are,” Evans says. “We have to deal with everyday realities even when our kids aren’t babies anymore.”
“Teen Mom 2” Season 5 premieres at 10 p.m. ET Tuesday on MTV.