On Oprah's first episode of the season, 'head-spinning' surprise

A look back at the career of daytime talk queen and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oprah promised on Monday that the kickoff of her last season as Queen of Daytime would include "two of the most heart-pounding, head-spinning surprises of all time."

No, she did not announce that cable TV's Oprah Winfrey Network co-venture with Discovery was all just a bad dream and that she would not be quitting her talk show after all at the end of this, its 25th season, to focus on that new network and would instead continue her reign over the daytime kingdom.

Instead, Oprah announced, on The First Episode of Her Final Season, that she would take the entire, 300-strong, studio audience of carefully picked "Oprah" superfans to Sydney for an eight-day visit in December.

(WATCH VIDEO: Oprah's Australia conniption fit)

Did she make this confetti-dropping announcement to make sure she gets a warm studio welcome when she tapes a couple of episodes Down Under for this, her last season, before turning all her attention to her cable network co-venture with Discovery?

We're also not sure about the other heart-pounding, head-spinning surprise. It might have been John Travolta coming out onstage at the top of the show, which had the Oprah Uber Fans on their feet, screaming and gasping and clasping their hands to their mouths and chests. Travolta, Oprah explained, was voted the show's all-time favorite guest -- he has put in 11 appearances over the years.

"If I may be so bold as to speak for the public, speak for the world, Oprah, there's only one of you and there will never be another," Travolta gushed.

"Oh, Johnny, Johnny, Johnny!" Oprah emoted.

(Travolta, Oprah told her audience, is a pilot with Qantas, which is among the sponsors footing the bill for the Sydney trip.)

The other surprise might have been the six fans from Boston who were sent by Oprah's BFF Gayle King on a road trip to Chicago to attend the season debut, but were "tricked" into driving right onto the stage after being told the debut would happen the next day.

"This isn't what I was going to wear!" wailed one of the Boston Oprah diehards.

We're pretty sure it wasn't Don Johnson's walk-on, which allegedly came as a surprise to Oprah, while she was reminding her fans how she failed to land the now-semi-washed-up, then-very-hot "Miami Vice" star as a guest on the first episode of her show.

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