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TV Column
Posted at 05:03 PM ET, 05/25/2011

Live blog: ‘Oprah’ final episode


Kimberly Adams waits outside Harpo Studios before the final taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in Chicago. (Paul Beaty - AP)

It’s finally arrived — the last episode of Oprah Winfrey’s syndicated talk show. If you watched parts one and two of the farewell spectacle, you may as well hang in until the very end.

We live-blogged the show here. Spoiler alert: It’s an hour of Oprah talking.

4:56 And then it was goodbye

Oprah goes around and hugs members of the audience, basks in their love one more time, and then exits the stage.

As the credits roll, she walks down a hallway backstage and yells “We did it!” More hugging, more applauding as Oprah climbs the stairs surrounded by people.

Finally, she sees her adorable dog. “Sadie, we did it! We did it Sadie, we did it!” she exclaims as she picks up the dog and embraces it in a hug.

And then she walks away.

4:54 Bittersweet? Not quite

“Is ending the show bittersweet?” Oprah says she gets asked this all the time, but that the experience is all sweet, no bitter.

She thanks everyone for everything. And then suddenly, it’s over.

“I won’t say goodbye. I’ll just say, until we meet again. To God be the glory,” Oprah says.

4:47 Be a safe harbor

Next in the list of Oprah’s inspirational advice: Be a safe harbor for someone. Oprah says her fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Duncan.was the first true liberator, and made her feel like she mattered — even just by letting her set out graham crackers for the class. It was validating.

Mrs. Duncan is in the audience and stands up to applause.

Apparently keeping in touch via Facebook and Twitter isn’t enough for Oprah — she’s giving us all her own personal e-mail account, whch she says Oprah@oprah.com. Memorize it! She’s going to respond to as many as she can. “What you have to say matters to me,” she assures us.

First tears of the show: Oprah wells up as she talks about growing up thinking she had no options, only to grow up to be beloved all over the world. “You and this show have been the great love of my life,” she tells the audience.

4:42 Oprah’s biggest regret

Oprah has no regrets, but she feels she wasn’t able to bring enough attention to sexual molestation or abuse of children, even after telling her own story. But she has devoted many shows to the topic.

A clip from a 2010 shows an episode when 200 men stood on stage, each one holding a picture of themselves at the age they say they were first sexually abused.

Oprah says she felt safe enough to share her story, and thanks everyone — including Tyler Perry, who told his own story of sexual abuse, and is sitting in the audience — and the men that appeared on the show, who had the “strength to stand up.”

4:36 Oprah’s reveals her secret to success

What does she tell people when they ask her the secret to success? She non-jokingly says, “My team, and Jesus.” She pauses for a round of applause. “Nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me.”

Oprah talks about the precense of God for awhile. Which God is she talking about? “The same one you’re talking about.”

Oprah says she waits and listens for guidance that’s greater than her mind, and that the only mistakes happened when she didn’t listen. “God is love. And God is life. And your life is always speaking to you,” she says.

Conclusion drawn: We should all listen to our life.

4:31 We all just want to be liked

Oprah shares another nugget of wisdom: We block our own blessings because we don’t feel worthy, She shows a clip of Iyanla Vanzant, the motivational speaker that had a falling out with Oprah, because she felt Oprah didn’t love her enough.

Oprah adds that she’s talked to a lot of arrogant, mean spirited bullies over the years. They were all were masking a sense of unworthiness, Oprah says.

4:26 Oprah’s stunts

“We’ve had our share of hoopla,” says Oprah. We see her on an elephant, at Marine bootcamp, and even waking up her neighbors with a megaphone.

The one thing Oprah hasn’t done: Jumped out of an airplane. However, if the show had gone 26 years, who knows? Guess we’ll never find out!

Oprah marvels about the variety of things her show has covered. “One day, we’re LOLing with Chris Rock. The next day we’re at Walter Reed.... The day after that, we’re sitting with an entire family of heroin addicts.” Indeed, that is a very eclectic list.

4:21 More flashbacks

Oprah says people have come on her show to reveal secrets that they couldn’t tell their family and friends, but felt safe announcing on national television on Oprah’s show.

We see flashbacks of people revealing secrets on “Oprah.” One person says they’re a recovering alcoholic, one is a drug addict, a man reveals he hit his wife.

4:17 Oprah talks responsibility

“Nobody but you is responsible for your life. You are responsible for your l ife. What is your life? What is all life? What is every flower, every rock, every tree?” Oprah is just getting started.

Oprah is quoting science: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

We see a clip from “The Color Purple.”

Oprah talks some more about energy. If you use it to hurt someone else, it will come back around to bite you, she says.

“Don’t wait for someone else to complete you. ‘Jerry Maguire’ was just a movie,” Oprah says.

4:14 Recalling the Oprah Farewell Surprise Spectacular

People kept asking Oprah if she was surprised about the celebs that appeared over the last two days at the giant party at Chicago’s United Center in her honor. Oprah claims she was surprised, except for the Maya Angelou appearance, because Maya Angelou acted very suspicious when Oprah calleda few days ago.

Oprah thanks the Tweeters and Facebookers, and even those without computers who turned on the TV.

Oprah is going to spend the rest of the hour telling the audience what they have meant to her.

Apparently, the early years of Oprah’s show was all about people making bad decisions. But luckily, she grew out of that phase. And now reality TV takes care of that for us.

4:09 It’s all about the audience

Oprah is far into inspirational speech mode. She’s telling us to find our own platform and reach out.

So, to recap: Oprah says we should help, listen, and forgive, and with that, we have the power to change lives.Who knew?

Also, don’t waste any more time. Embrace the life that is calling you! Serve the world! Etc. Etc. Time for commercial break.

4:05 So what’s happening today?

On today’s show, there will be no guests, no makeovers, no surprises. Well that’s too bad! None of the audience members will be getting cars. “This hour is about saying thank you. It’s my love letter to you.”

Gist: We’re about to listen to Oprah talk for an hour. Hang tight.

“This is what I was called to do,” she says. “Everybody has a calling, and your real job in life is to find it.” Examples of people who have found their calling: Tina Turner, Lady Gaga.

4:03 In the beginning

Oprah recalls getting the job in Chicago, and how at first, there was no audience — they had to bribe people in the street with food and coffee to sit in folding chairs to watch the show.

Then, Oprah recalls a letter from a fan named Carrie that she thinks is the nicest things she’s ever heard: “Oprah, watching you be yourself makes me want to be more of myself.”

Oh, now it’s time for fashion flashbacks — some truly hideous outfits and jewelry are displayed, which Oprah laughs off.

4:01: Lots of old school clips

The old school clips of “Oprah” kick off her very last episode. ”If there’s one thread running through each show...it’s that you are not alone,” a very young Oprah is seen telling a studio audience.

Dressed in pink, Oprah slowly emerges on to the stage, where she is greated with a standing ovation and tears from the audience. “25 years, and I’m still saying, Thank you America,” she says.

When I arrived in Chicago from Baltimore (say hello, Baltimore co-host Richard Sher! He waves in the audience.)

Shot of Stedman in the audience!

Oprah is in reminiscing mode. She recalls getting the job in Chicago. Flashback to young Oprah in a velour suit trying to cook with some football players. Another of her in a fur coat covering a parade of some sort.

How has Oprah affected your life?

 

Photos: Hollywood’s biggest stars say goodbye to Oprah Winfrey

Photos: Oprah Winfrey through the years

 

Best Oprah moments and memes

 

Video: Sneak peek inside one of Oprah's final shows

Video: Director remembers discovering Oprah

Quiz: How well do you know Oprah?

By  |  05:03 PM ET, 05/25/2011

 
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