Oprah Winfrey taped “The Oprah Winfrey Show’s” “Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular” in Chicago, at the United Center on Tuesday night and Access Hollywood was on the scene, live blogging.
Here’s what happened as the superstar guests were unveiled!
11:11 PM CDT: Oprah, Tom Hanks, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith take the stage.
“Thank you for taking me to a place beyond joy,” Oprah says.
“We love you,” responds Jada. “You are the goddess.”
Will notes they have “one more surprise,” as he introduces Usher!
Usher sings “Oh Happy Day.”
The audience is on their feet and singing along.
The show is ending on a high note. They’ve never heard Usher do a traditional gospel song.
A choir is singing back up and stars from both shows are on stage.
Patti LaBelle has had a dress change since the first show. She’s now pretty in pink.
Confetti drops from ceiling.
These were two great shows — star packed, heartfelt, inspirational and full of gratitude. A true Oprah love-fest!
11:03 PM CDT: Oprah speaks: “I saw Stedman on stage and I said, ‘Holy, Jesus, God… Stedman on the stage!’”
11 PM CDT: Aretha rocks the house church-style and Oprah is crying again.
It doesn’t look like anyone’s left since they were seated at 5:30 PM. Alicia Keys is in the pressroom.
10:55 PM CDT: Stedman Graham speaks!
“I’m so proud of you and your success. The show has been No. 1 for 25 years, which is a credit to you and your team and millions of viewers around the world,” he says. “This is amazing. It amazes me to be around a woman who changes lives everyday and takes her own lunch to work.”
Oprah is crying again and looking very lovingly towards her beau.
“I love you for making a difference in my life,” he says.
Stedman introduces Aretha Franklin
Oprah’s mouth is wide-open.
Aretha sings “Amazing Grace” on stage in a white gown. She’s looking healthy and singing strong! She’s about to turn this place out!
10:44 PM CDT: Dr. Angelou finishes her poem as Alicia brings it on home with strong vocals.
10:39 PM CDT: Maya Angelou is accompanied by Alicia Keys on piano. Dr. Angelou recites a poem as she is seated across from Oprah on stage. It’s a relatively solemn moment. Oprah is attentive. Alicia is providing beautiful background music.
10:29 PM CDT: The stage is being set for a rousing closing segment for Show 2. The crew is moving in a baby grand piano — could be for Alicia Keys or Aretha OR both. Stay tuned!
10: 22 PM CDT: Tyler Perry introduces students helped by Oprah’s scholarships. She is brought to tears – a full flood of them.
Morehouse College men walk through audience with lights.
Oprah moves into what she calls the “ugly cry.” She cannot contain the emotion and power of the moment.
Kristin Chenoweth steps up to sing “For Good” from “Wicked.” The lyric? “Because we knew you, we have been changed.”
It’s the emotional and inspirational highlight of the evening.
It’s a very powerful moment.
Meanwhile, Dr. Phil, Nate Berkus and Simon Cowell are being interviewed backstage in the pressroom.
10:11 PM CDT: Maria Shriver looks fab in a in blue sequin gown and Gayle King is in a hot pink, off-the-shoulder dress. Never seen Maria look more beautiful.
Gayle and Maria talk about their friendship with Oprah and her impact in changing lives through education.
10:02 PM CDT: Simon Cowell is here in a suit and open collar white shirt.
“Here’s my truth about you,” he says. “Being on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ means automatic credibility… And I can say first hand, you are a very good kisser.”
Rosie O’Donnell does a stage performance - a song and dance — Broadway style. This leads to Dr. Phil.
“Oprah, my question for you is, ‘How is this working for you?” Dr. Phil laughs.
And now Nate Berkus and Dr. Oz hit the stage.
“Oprah, always remember S-shaped poop,” Dr. Oz says.
9:48 PM CDT: Will introduces Seinfeld to Oprah.
“Do you know what we are doing here? We are trying to figure out how much can one person take before they say, ‘Enough!” Jerry laughs.
Oprah is seated between Jamie Foxx and Tom Hanks having a good laugh.
Seinfeld is doing a stand-up routine about being a man and a husband. He’s got the audience in the palm of his hand.
9:35 PM CDT: Jamie Foxx serenades Oprah singing, “Isn’t She Lovely” as the curtain rises to reveal Stevie Wonder joining in. It’s a party for sure.
Stevie sings a special song. He’s on piano and Oprah is on stage, leaning on the piano as he sings.
9:32 PM CDT: Tom Hanks hands off MC duties to Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Jada is in a hot, white body-fit dress.
Will says, “Welcome to the second to last Oprah show!”
Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan does a walk on, and in the home of the Bulls (the United Center), the audience is beyond crazy.
“Michael Jordan is in the house,” Oprah says.
Her mouth is wide open.
“We came to Chicago. At the same time,” Michael says.
“I feel the energy… You have inspired me… If you need a job, I have one for you,” he adds.
Will says, “Men love ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show,’” and then introduces Jamie Foxx from the audience.
The audience is still standing 10 minutes into the show!
9:16 PM CDT: 13,000 lucky people are in attendance tonight! Show 2 is about to begin.
9:03 PM CDT: Tom Cruise and wife Katie Holmes introduce a Rascal Flatts performance. This should be the last song in Show 1. Katie looks so cute! The audience is waving lights as all the stars head to the stage — Madonna, Halle, Dakota, Queen Latifah, Patti LaBelle. Oprah hugs them all.
“Whoa! I feel the love and I thank you for it. Thank you for being a part of this great night,” she says. “You have made it possible for us to stand for 25 years. I thank you so much.”
Tom says, “We’ll see you tomorrow for the second to last Oprah show in history!”
Rascal Flatts sings as they close out the episode and the audience is on their feet!
Wow! And there’s a second show to come.
Oprah is crying and mouths to celebs “Thank you!”
Tom Hanks leads the audience in an Oprah cheer.
Over and out Show 1!
8: 43 PM CDT: Power Play — Halle Berry, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes walk on together. Halle says, “I loved you the first time I saw you.” Katie and Queen Latifah talk about viewers affected by Oprah.
8:34 PM CDT: Diane Sawyer is on stage and Oprah is near tears again. Diane is talking about why Oprah loves trees — they represents “possibilities.” It’s very poetic.
“That is life, that is like you, that is ‘The Oprah [Winfrey] Show,’” Diane says. Diane says oak trees will be planted in honor of Oprah, “sea to sea.”
A total of 25,000 trees will be planted in her honor.
8:27 PM CDT: We’re half way through. Tom Hanks and Oprah are on stage. Tom says Oprah’s book club helped sell 30 million books. The packed audience waves books they have for Oprah.
John Legend appears via satellite from a New Orleans elementary school sponsored by Target, which received books via donation for a brand new library.
7:55 PM CDT: Beyonce comes on stage for a hot performance with a stage full of dancers. Oprah is officially in tears! The audience is up on their feet and the place is going wild. Beyonce appears to have about 40 dancers on stage with her. The place is electric. Nobody is thinking they’re in the (Chicago) Bulls’ house tonight. Oprah owns Chicago!
7:54 PM CDT: Dakota Fanning appears on stage looking stunning with large group of pre-teens and teen girls. It’s the Dove self-esteem moment. Dakota is in a fabulous gown. It’s red carpet Oscar-worthy style.
7:40 PM CDT: Madonna appears on stage. She’s wearing a conservative black dress that goes below the knees and a pair of heels. Oprah is seen getting teary eyed from Madonna’s speech. Madonna is recapping a history of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” with global clips.
7:33 PM CDT: Oprah’s main squeeze, Stedman Graham, and her best friend, Gayle King, are sitting in the front row.
7:31 PM CDT: Patti LaBelle comes on stage to sing and the crowd is going crazy! Patti and Josh sing together — “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” — and they bring the audience to their feet. Patti sings in her bare feet!
7:29 PM CDT: Josh Groban is on stage singing!
7:27 PM CDT: Tom Cruise just walked on to “Mission Impossible” theme. Tom said he’s been on show 12 times. “Each time I came to Chicago, I would see a loving friend,” he noted.
7:22 PM CDT: Tom Hanks is the first surprise guest, and his appearance leads to a video recap of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”The video is of ultimate viewers talking about how her shows changed their lives. It is sentimental and heartfelt.
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