You didn’t think Oprah could just say goodbye in one day, did you? Of course not! Anyway, part one of her “Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular,” taped at Chicago’s United Center, airs Monday. Part two is tomorrow, and then the Queen of Daytime TV wraps up for good on Wednesday.
We live-blogged the first part of her farewell on Monday at 4 p.m.
4:59: Oprah says goodbye, but just or now
“You have made it possible for us to stand for 25 years,” Oprah announces to the crowd. “And we will see you tomorrow.”
4:57: Don’t forget — there’s a part two of this
Voiceover guy plugs tomorrow’s show — we glimpses of Jerry Seinfeld, Will Smith, and Maria Shriver, who’s quotes from the appearance have already been analyzed.
4:48: Don’t worry Oprah, we won’t forget about you just because you’re on cable
Husband and wife Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are on stage together. They pledge to not forget about Oprah now that’s she’s on (gasp!) cable.
Country trio Rascal Flatts arrives to sing “I Won’t Let Go” and shows scenes of Oprah over the years helping and hugging various people. Audience members are waving a massive amount of glow sticks.
4:43 Halle Berry, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes talk charity
Halle Berry, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes show up. “We love you Oprah!” Halle Berry yells. The beauty of Oprah is that viewers aren’t just sitting watching TV — they’re risen up to change the world.
Examples: Debbie was inspired to become a foster mother. Lanny started a charity. Viewers have donated $12 million to Women to Women charity, helping women around the world, including a Washington, D.C. resident named Molly.
4:37: Diane Sawyer says Oprah is like a tree
ABC anchor Diane Sawyer arrives to make a long-winded metaphor about both life and Oprah being like a blossoming tree. We learn that 25,000 oak trees are going to be planted in Oprah’s honor, to remind everyone to live their lives.
4:33 Oprah’s book club
We’re liking Tom Hanks as emcee of this spectacle. He cheerfully tells us that Oprah has helped sell 30 million books, and the audience members have all brought their favorite things. The audience members wave books around. We see a clip package about a school destroyed by Hurricane Katrina that has an empty library.
John Legend shows up at the school and, via sattelite feed, tells Tom Hanks and Oprah that all the books the audience brought are going to the school. Plus, the school’s library has been re-built with a little help from Target, and we get footage of cute kids basking in the glow of books.
4:25 Beyonce: Run the world, girls
Continuing the girl power theme, Beyonce arrives to honor Oprah — and plug her new song “Run the World (Girls)” with an army of dancers on stage.
4:21 Oprah show babies
Dakota Fanning appears with a group of young girls crowded around the stage wth microphones. Fanning says they are “Oprah show babies.” “Your voice has been the soundtrack of our lives,” Fanning tells her.
Different small children and teens take turns telling Oprah what she’s meant to their lives. Among the lessons learned from the girls
* A love to read
* Taking care of themselves (teen noted she lost 20 pounds)
* One says she knows she can do anything she wants, such as be the president
* Another wakes up every morning, and thanks to Oprah, looks in the mirror and says, “Good morning, gorgeous!”
Photos: :Oprah Winfrey through the years
4:16 It’s Madonna time
Tom Hanks is back with the microphone, and says one of Oprah’s ultimate viewers, a mother of four from New York, just flew in — oh, it’s Madonna.
Madonna takes the stage, and we learn that when people ask her about women who have inspired her, she asks, "Dead or alive?” If they specify dead, the list is long. If they tell her it has to be someone alive, then she only has one name on the list. Guess who it is?
“She’s a self-made woman who’s been at the top of her game for 25 years,” Madonna tells us. “She fights for things she believes in, even if it makes her unpopular.”
Oprah watches, open-mouthed, as Madonna introduces clips of viewers around the wrold who say Oprah changed their lives.
4:12 After the singing, time for a break to reflect on the magic
Voiceover guy says the magical evening is just getting started, so don’t go away. Who was best in that performance? It’s a tough call, but Patti LaBelle is quite the performer. Even if Jackie Evancho is adorable and Josh Groban’s voice is like angels singing.
4:07 “Wizard of Oz” time
“America’s Got Talent” contestant, 11-year-old Jackie Evancho with the ridiculously good voice, shows up to sing, in black and white, and then suddenly the picture turns to color. Then, she clicks her heels — a pair of red ruby slippers, in case we missed the reference. Josh Groban appears to croon “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and is soon joined on stage by Patti LaBelle.
4:05 Exit Tom Hanks, Enter Tom Cruise
Your show has turned surprise into an art form, Hanks says, but pulling off this surprise show for Oprah has turned into a “mission impossible”...oh, and look who it is. Tom Cruise, one of Oprah’s most famous interviews ever, shows up on stage.
Embarrassing pictures of a very young Tom Cruise are shown. He says his mothers and sisters love watching Oprah, and so they were very excited when made his first appearance on the show.
4:01 Tom Hanks arrives
Oprah says, “Let the games begin” as Tom Hanks walks out on stage her first surprise guest. “Twenty five years, girl, 25 years,” Hanks says, who notes that they had to get all the people that love her in Chicago’s United Center, because her studio just wasn’t big enough.
Hanks gestures to the giant crowd. “It’s all about them!” Hanks exclaims, hilariously, because no one is better than making it All About Her than Oprah.
Cue really sad clip reel with people talking about how Oprah has shaped them over the years, particularly people with tragic stories who turned to Oprah during hard times.
4:01 Biggest surprise ever?
Voiceover guy tells us that today’s “Farewell Spectacular” is one of the best kept secrets on the planet. This is surprising, because details have been leaked for days since this was taped last week. Oh wait -- he means Oprah, who apparently was kept in the dark about all of this before the taping.
Photos: Oprah Winfrey through the years