EXCLUSIVE: In what is believed to be her final TV appearance, Naya Rivera will be featured in an episode from Season 3 of Netflix’s baking competition reality series Sugar Rush, which will be released Friday.
Back in February, a few weeks before all production ground to a halt, the Glee alumna filmed a guest-judge appearance on Sugar Rush in Los Angeles, sitting alongside the show’s host Hunter March and professional chef judges Candace Nelson and Adriano Zumbo. It was the last thing Rivera shot before the coronavirus-related Hollywood production shutdown, now in its fifth month.
Netflix on June 24 announced a July 31 premiere date for the new season of Sugar Rush, branded Extra Sweet. A couple of weeks later, Rivera disappeared while swimming with her son in Lake Piru north of Los Angeles. Her body was recovered July 13 and laid to rest July 24. She was 33.
Following Rivera’s death, Netflix was faced with a dilemma about what to do with the footage of her. After careful consideration in consultation with Rivera’s manager Gladys Gonzalez, who has been working closely with the actress’ family following Rivera’s death, a decision was made to move forward and release the episode as planned.
The episode is dedicated to Rivera, with an on-screen note honoring the actress appearing before the opening credits.
Sugar Rush is produced by Magical Elves.