Cautiously optimistic. Maci Bookout, Catelynn Lowell and Amber Portwood spoke exclusively to Us Weekly after they met their new Teen Mom OG castmates Bristol Palin and Cheyenne Floyd.
“It’s going really well, actually,” Bookout, 27, told Us. “I think we were a bit apprehensive because, I know for sure myself — and I don’t want to speak for Catelynn or Amber — but for me definitely, I felt like the media may have put certain tones out there that we weren’t happy about them coming on or happy with them, and I was kind of worried that they would believe that. But I mean honestly, it couldn’t have gone better. It was nice to enjoy working with everyone.”
Palin, 27, and Floyd, 25, were hired to replace former Teen Mom OG star Farrah Abraham, who quit the series after an argument with executive producer Morgan J. Freeman over her career in the adult film industry.
Lowell, who quipped “anybody’s better than Farrah” to Us, echoed Bookout’s sentiment about Palin and Floyd, but also admitted she was upset with MTV for not giving the girls a heads-up about the casting news.
“They’re both really nice … I’m getting to know them, I’m not going to walk in with any judgments,” the 26-year-old explained. “I’m going to give them the time day that I give anybody that I meet, and then if you screw me over, then I learn. If you don’t, and we become really good friends, then that’s awesome. But they both seem really nice and I feel like they have a lot to contribute to the show and different types of stories and lives, and that’s the whole point, isn’t it?”
Lowell, who previously confirmed to Us she is expecting baby No. 3, continued: “I have more s—t, like, against the network for not having respect for us or respect us enough to just give us a call and say, ‘Hey this is what we’re thinking.’ … So really that’s where my anger was and still is.”
Portwood, 28, added that the “anticipation” of meeting Palin and Floyd was worse than anything else.
“We didn’t really know what to expect. We were kind of like, ‘Oh we’re the OGs.’ … We just kind of felt like we were thrown into something and we had no clue what was going to happen,” the former Marriage Boot Camp star told Us. “Then they showed up and they’re honestly so sweet and real. That’s another thing I think we had like, a issue with, like, we just really want the realest people on our show who are really going to show their lives. We didn’t know if the network was bringing somebody in [to] cause drama or what, so it’s pretty cool that I actually see, you know, that their vision is to help people.”
As for the backlash that Floyd, who got pregnant with now 17-month-old daughter Ryder at 23, is not technically a teen parent, her new costars are hoping the audience will give her a chance.
“At first when I heard, I was like, ‘Wow, you know, she’s not a teen mom, she wasn’t a teen mom,’” Lowell admitted to Us. But then getting to know her a little bit … with her daughter having these medical issues and her and her baby’s father, like, coparenting the way they do. I think that’s good for people to see.”
Bookout added: “I definitely think that she has a lot to bring to the show. She’s very relatable and she’s also going through things and dealing with things that the rest of us aren’t, and that’s always important when you’re trying to reach a lot of people that are going through similar things, but also very different things at the same time. It’s always been a goal of the show, it’s definitely a bonus.”
Teen Mom OG returns to MTV on Monday, October 1, at 9 p.m. ET.
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