The wait is over: TLC’s Unexpected is back with a new season, and just as much drama as we’ve come to expect. Unexpected features several teen moms as they battle, well – the unexpected twists and turns that come with teen motherhood. Whether it’s drama with the baby’s father, navigating caring for your own baby while your parents try to care for their baby, attending school, getting a job or any other life-changing decisions faced by teens, having a baby along for the ride can make things twice as hard.
A New Season is Here
They’re back! Season 5 is here and it’s time to get hype for this season’s antics and drama. It was an eventful off-season, with drama aplenty as moms from past seasons (we’ll get to who in a minute) sparred with rivals over their baby’s father, each mom balanced the challenges that come with becoming adults when you’re already parents, and the weight of being famous rides on their shoulders to make it all that much more complicated.
Some moms from past seasons have had very volatile relationships with their fame – case in point, McKayla Adkins, to name one. McKayla has faced backlash after backlash as she’s grappled with mental health concerns and relationship woes all in the public eye. While Adkins hasn’t returned for season 5, it’s a measure of just how much fans love their Unexpected stars that she’s still receiving so much love – and hate – after several years of being off the show.
And Adkins isn’t the only one. At least one of this season’s moms has been making news and facing backlash – so let’s cut to the chase and see who’s back, and who’s new.
A New York state native, Bennett was first on the show to welcome her daughter Aaliyah with boyfriend James. However, things with James quickly devolved and Bennett found herself caring for baby Aaliyah basically alone. Fans of the show got to watch Bennett find love with a new man – Lawrence – who proposed on the show, and the two welcomed a baby boy together.
These two have been some of the lowest drama and most even-keeled on the show, and they’re definitely fan favorites. Bennet’s mom Kim has faced some criticism for being too pushy and involved, but as the years have passed she’s settled into the perfect balance of involved and hands-off as a grandma and mom.
Ronan is another fan favorite, and maybe only partly because of her super cute dad Matt and his supportive relationship with Ronan. In Ronan’s first season, she and boyfriend Aden were adorably in sync on almost everything. The couple is still together, and the Ronan family has seen some criticism over what many consider to be “spoiling” Ronan, who sometimes acts a little air-headed. Ronan moved in with her dad after her relationship with her mom hit a breaking point, and she has received even-tempered and supportive love from Matt and his wife ever since; the perfect place to raise a baby.
Considering how well they’ve put their lives together, is the spoiling and flakiness all editing and for show? Possibly – Ronan and her beau are doing a great job raising their kid together, all things considered.
Tyra has long been another fan-favorite. After having her baby girl with boyfriend Alex, Tyra went off to college about an hour and a half away on a cheerleading scholarship. The internet was immediately divided on this; was she an absent mother because she’s gone most days of the week? Or was she breaking a cycle of generational poverty by seeking an opportunity?
This is the relationship that has seen the most off-screen drama, as it has been revealed that Alex is a serial cheater. Tyra, for all that she has a good head on her shoulders an is a college-educated, career-focused young mom – seems distressingly willing to continue to forgive him, even as another girl has claimed she’s pregnant with Alex’s baby. Apparently, Tyra knew about Alex’s shenanigans but wants him in their daughter’s life so badly that she was patient and forgiving.
Alex, for his part, did some epic gymnastics deflection on the show and made it seem like Tyra was the one stepping out.
The internet definitely has thoughts on Tyra and Alex. Alex now officially is dating Hanna Cole – but seems to have a weird hold on Tyra.
Tiarra is sister to Tyra, and appeared on the show in that capacity before she was officially a member. Another teen mom, Tiarra has two children now and a fan base of her own. Tiarra is younger than Tyra and had her first baby at a younger age. But now fans get the best of both worlds as the Boisseau sisters work through the ups and downs of young motherhood side by side. They also have a cousin who is a young teen mom – it’s apparently a family tradition. The cousin has made brief appearances on the show as well.
Speaking of that cousin! She’s now getting her own feature on the show. As cousin to Tyra and Tiarra, she’s now welcoming her second baby – all as a young mom.
A new mom to the show, 18-year-old Emersyn lives in Washington with her boyfriend Mason, who lives an hour away. Mason lives with a mom who has a bit of – let’s just say – overbearing air, and it’ll be the young mom’s struggle to find her voice while living so far from her baby’s father and growing up at the same time.
Another new mom, 17-year-old Smith and her boyfriend Jason live with his parents in New Hampshire as they await the birth of their son, Xavier. Jason is involved in and excited about their impending bundle of joy, but Smith is struggling to juggle her parents’ involvement in the pregnancy.
What to Expect with the Unexpected
When it comes to teen pregnancy and young motherhood, anything can happen. The show’s title is a hint of just how chaotic and twisty life can be when you’re just starting your life with a baby in tow, but the drama always exceeds expectations.
While some of the moms are now in their early 20’s and starting to establish their careers and places in the world, nothing is certain. This season we can expect to see more of the drama between Tyra and Alex – watch newcomers Emersyn and Kylen face the overwhelm of becoming new moms and add some new babies to the next Unexpected season finale reunion, which is always an emotional event.