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Exclusive Interview: Rafael de la Fuente (“Empire”)

Oct. 21st’s episode of Empire, “Be True,” featured Andre trying to get his soul right with his family, himself, and with God ultimately, but one of the other developments of the night was Michael getting with that artist guy and later discovered by Jamal, who was about to tell Michael he could come on tour with him!

I was excited to have the opportunity of talking with Rafael de la Fuente about Michael’s departure from fidelity and what his actions could mean for Jamal and Michael’s future together. We also talked about de la Fuente’s quick first trip to set, working with Jussie Smollett, and his favorite Cookie moment. 

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“Empire” react: Standard Episode, But Why Low Ratings?

The latest Empire episode, “Poor Yorick,” had classic Empire shenanigans, and I do mean “shenanigans.” Hakeem and Jerk Jamal fighting on the set of the awesome Black Panther-in-the-future music video. Lucious and Cookie being lovers at war. Cookie selling out Lucious again after facing the possibility of going to jail again. Andre and Rhonda digging up poor Vernon, only to have Lucious and Thirsty help them out with the process. Vernon’s decrepit body showing up in the Booby Prosecutor’s car. Also: Cookie invoking Sandra Bland as she was being carted away to an interrogation room.

If it’s all standard stuff for Empire, then why have the ratings begun to slip? Since the Season 2 premiere, the ratings have been slipping slowly. Of course, for Empire, a ratings slip is like a billionaire becoming $1000 short. There’s not much to complain about. Or is there? Because even with a billionaire, losing a $1000 a week begins to add up. 

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“Empire” react: Jamal’s Still a Jerkwad

It seems like every Empire react I’ll be making this year will be “Jamal’s a big jerk.” And he is still a jerk in the latest episode, “Fires of Heaven.” Like, I get that Lucious is a the king of jerks. But Lucious seemed like he never had a chance to be anything other than a jerk. His jerkiness seems to come from having to live tough in order to survive. But Jamal? As pampered by money and rejected by his father as he is? He’s going to try to act tough and not speak to Cookie, the only parent who gave a damn about him? Jamal’s made me resort to using curse words! 

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QUIZ: Which “Empire” Artist Are You?

Empire’s season two premiere left me for a loop! It’s currently in my rewatch queue so I can finally get my recap up on the site (I’m sure you’re wondering what I thought about Cookie being in an ape suit in a cage, why Anika was inexplicably called “Anita,” and  “Anita’s” subsequent twerk-session with Mimi.)  But until then, I’ve got something special! A quiz! If you’ve wanted to see who you’ be if you were an artist signed to Empire Records, here’s your chance. 

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