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Tonight On CBS

Gina Rodriguez’s “love letter” to Rita Moreno

As you see in our exclusive sneak peek above, the Jane the Virgin star finally gets to tell the EGOT winner everything she wished she could have said to her when she thought about sending her idol a letter at age 15. It’s a perfect, moving beginning to the evening’s tributes, and, as Rodriguez recalls asking her mother “Mom, when did Puerto Ricans come about?” because she’d never seen one on screen, also a powerful reminder of how much representation matters.

Moreno’s tribute also includes Rosie Perez performing “Fever” with Animal, in honor of Moreno’s Emmy-winning appearance on The Muppet Show and Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda sharing the story of Moreno storming the stage like “an altruistic Kanye West” at a charity event when the audience was ignoring the entertainment before he introduces a performance of “America” from West Side Story (which, Colbert notes, “opened a generation’s eyes to the dangers of ballet gang violence”).

The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors airs Dec. 29 at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.

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