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Last night, Kelly Rowland and Jussie Smollett hit up an “Empire” viewing party presented by Pepsi to check out the winter finale. Peep their pics, check out some behind-the-scenes flicks of Alicia Keys on the set and find out why the 2nd half of the 2nd season will be seeing less guest stars inside (oh, and there’s some spoiler alerts if you haven’t seen last night’s episode)…

“Empire”’s winter finale was VERY explosive. Lucious Lyon was been dethroned, Camilla is BACK with a vengeance and Andre Lyon may lose his unborn son. And to watch it all go down, Pepsi hosted a private viewing party at Gansevoort Park Avenue NYC.

Guest starring actress Kelly Rowland showed her face at the event rocking a winter white Akris suit with her hair pulled into a high ponytail. So chic.

#NextPepsiArtist Jussie Smollett hit the stage to perform his Pepsi commercial hit “Ready To Go” that’s featured on the hip hopera. Really smart move for the soda giant. Double promo.

Do it “Jamal.”

After he rocked the stage…

The R&B singer/actor sat down and chopped it up with radio personality Sway and “Empire” director Sanaa Hamri.

Speaking of “Empire”…

Did you notice the woman playing Skye Summer’s manager is Alicia’s REAL life mom? Yep! A. Keys joined forces with mama Terria Joseph, who is a trained opera singer, for her role. Fun!

The “28 Thousand Days” songstress shared a few more flicks of her character on the set:

These plastic covered couches though….

And it’s clear it’s all love on the set. She shared a fun flick of co-stars Terrence Howard and Jussie Smollett showering her with hugs. Cute.

Speaking of guest stars…

“Empire” co-creator Danny Strong chopped it up with Deadline about the 2nd season of the show. If all the guest starring roles turned you off, you’re not the only one. Danny also felt season 2 had TOO many guest starring roles (we agree), but he revealed the 2nd half of the 2nd season will have less guest stars and will focus more on the Lyon family. He spilled,

I do think we’ve had too many guest stars and we’ve already started course-correcting in the last portion of this first part of Season 2, especially in the tail end. We’ll be seeing even less guest stars going into the second half of the season as the show will get a little tighter, more focused on the Lyon family and our core group of characters.

I do think too when the story calls for it, the guest stars are terrific – like Alicia Keys, she was wonderful on the show. But I think, maybe because we were rejected by so many people in the early part of the first season and now we can get anyone we want, we were too guest-star heavy for a while.

By the way, if you were holding out hope that media mogul Oprah would be making a cameo this season, that won’t be happening. Lee Daniels mentioned earlier this year she wouldn’t be making an appearance and Danny is backing up those statements. He said,

“Something Lee does is whoever he had a conversation with that day he’ll tell everyone and suddenly it’s out there. But it’s just preliminary conversations. As far as Oprah goes, I don’t think she’s going to be on the show this season. I think she’s talked about it with Lee but nothing was ever firmed up. She totally digs the show but I think it was premature for anyone to talk about it publicly.”

Season 2 will return March 2016.

Photos: Getty/Alicia’s IG

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