No Stars, Just Oprah in Final Episode: 'Until We Meet Again'
By PopEater Staff Posted May 25th 2011 12:00PM
Just like that, it's over. Oprah Winfrey delivered her final hour on Wednesday in a quiet and decidedly celeb-less sendoff for her 25-year-old talk show. "You and this show have been the great love of my life," she told the lucky audience near the end of the episode, but not before taking viewers on a trip down memory lane.
The show began with a clip from first show ever -- Sept. 8, 1986. According to TV Squad and the Chicago Tribune, audience members were already welling up in the first minute. "How truly amazing it is, this journey that you and I have shared together," she said. "I mean really, people."
Later, she talked about the transformation the show took from featuring "people making bad choices" to the lifestyle and star-studded format it became.
Instead of having a flood of celebs show up, like they did on Monday and Tuesday's episodes, Oprah brought out nuggets of wisdom for her TV followers. "You are responsible for your own life," she said, later advising viewers to look within for guidance. "Your life is speaking to you. What is it saying?"
She got deep, often: "What is all life? What is every flower, every rock, every tree, every human being? Energy. And you're responsible for the energy you create for yourself, and you're responsible for the energy that you bring to others."
Celebrities were in the audience, including Tyler Perry, Maria Shriver, Suze Orman and Cicely Tyson, but none of them joined Winfrey on stage.
There's also a bit of self-back-slapping, when Oprah beamed that people looked to her show to address social stigmas like sex abuse, AIDS, drug addiction and coming out. "Little by little we started to release the shame," she said.
Towards the end of the hour, Oprah says ending her legendary talk show is "all sweet, no bitter" and that she nothing but gratitude for the time she spent with us.
"I thank you for being as much of a sweet inspiration for me as I've tried to be for you," she said. "I won't say goodbye. I'll just say, Until we meet again. To God be the glory."
At that, she walked through the studio audience as Paul Simon's '10 Years' played, hugging Stedman and she begins to cry. Then, Oprah head backstage to hug her staff and ends it all by picking up her dog and saying "We did it, Sadie."
She walks from the camera and ... scene.
The episode was taped on Tuesday at Harpo Studios in Chicago and its contents were a closely guarded secret. Promos for the episode ask "Where were you?" and "Where will you be?" for the finale. One lucky fan, Jackie Polk, told the New York Times that ticket-holders were instructed to wear brightly colored clothing, so that "We all look like a bag of skittles."
As you my have heard, Winfrey left her show after 25 years to concentrate on OWN, her fledgling cable network.
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