Naya Rivera’s Final TV Appearance Will Air This Week

Naya Rivera is pictured at an event
Frazer Harrison / Getty Image

Naya Rivera’s final television appearance is set to air on Netflix on Friday, July 31, according to a report from Deadline.

The actress and singer will be appearing posthumously in a Season 3 episode of Sugar Rush — a “relentlessly fast-paced competition that challenges bakers to create treats that look beautiful and taste amazing against the clock.” Rivera filmed her guest-judge appearance on the show in Los Angeles right before the industry was forced to halt production due to the coronavirus pandemic. She will be seen alongside professional chef judges Candace Nelson and Adriano Zumbo, along with the show’s host, Hunter March, as they offer critique to hopeful bakers looking to secure a cash prize.

It’s reported that after Rivera’s death, Netflix struggled to figure out what it would do with the footage of her. However, after consulting with the star’s family through her manager, Gladys Gonzalez, the streaming giant decided to move forward with airing the episode as planned.

The episode will feature an on-screen note to honor the late star before the opening credits.

Rivera was best known for her role as Santana Lopez on Glee, but her acting credits also included Devious Maids, My Wife and Kids, Smart Guy, Step Up: High Water, and The Bernie Mac Show. She competed on Lip Sync Battle, where she rapped along to a song by her ex, Big Sean, and served as a guest judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race and guest co-hosted The View.

Sugar Rush promotional image.
  Netflix

On July 8, Rivera rented a pontoon boat with her son, Josey Hollis Dorsey, and the two set out for a day of water activities on Lake Piru, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.

Later that afternoon, the 4-year-old boy was discovered alone on the watercraft, and Rivera was declared missing after he explained to authorities that he saw his mother disappear under the water. After a five-day search, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office announced it had recovered a body, which was later confirmed to be Rivera. During a press conference, Sheriff Bill Ayub speculated that the 33-year-old mother may have found it difficult to get back on the craft after swimming with her son, according to a report from Entertainment Tonight.

“The idea perhaps being that the boat started drifting, it was unanchored, and that she mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself,” he said.

Rivera’s official cause of death was confirmed to be drowning, and her death certificate indicated that she died within minutes of being submerged. She was laid to rest in a private ceremony on July 24. The actress was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California, as previously reported by The Inquisitr.