November 19th, 2010
02:15 PM ET
Today is the day Oprah fans look forward to the other 364 days of the year: “Oprah's Ultimate Favorite Things” special!
Because it’s the farewell season of the mega talk show, many thought this would be a massive blowout … and they were right. This year it’s a two-day “joy filled frenzy” with a “humongous twist guaranteed to curl your candy canes,” and Day One definitely didn’t let me down.
Winfrey shared her favorite things with an audience of people who have given back to their families, communities, and the world.
Oprah started the show by saying, “One of the best ways we can prepare for giving is meditation.” After asking how many audience members meditate, a sparse number slowly raise their hands. They soon perk up though, as Winfrey yells, “Meditate on this!” and rips off her black outfit to reveal a sparkling red, floor-length gown.
Snow fills the studio as a Christmas set appears, complete with a giant tree and presents, as Oprah revealed that it is indeed her “Favorite Things” special. Medics stand by as hugs and tears fill the audience. In the first two minutes of the show, one man is down on the ground clapping and crying as if he’d just seen the Messiah.
“Hold on to yourself, it’s a long hour,” Oprah jokes. She says she “saved the best for the farewell season,” and she wasn’t kidding around.
First up is “a classic favorite thing with a Season 25 twist,” according to Winfrey. It’s an Oprah watch, with 58 hand set diamonds and two “O’s” on the face. The two and five are silver in honor of show’s 25th silver anniversary. After that is a Tory Burch flannel Tory tote in gray, with custom-made matching Tory signature gray flannel flats. Oprah adds a Nikon D3100 Digital SLR camera, which she gives after showing off some pics she took of Stedman’s cousin cooking fried chicken. All of these gifts were delivered by the FedEx elves before the first break.
Next, Oprah gave away the Oprah custom sweater, the daytime queen’s favorite cashmere sweater designed by Ralph Lauren, complete with a matching cashmere cable throw. The designer let Oprah choose the color, which she said “reminded me of my dog Sadie.” Of course you have to have some sparkle to go with the sweater, so Oprah gave audience members Judith Ripka Eclipse earrings in canary crystal with white sapphires.
Andre Walker, Oprah’s only hair stylist, has bottled the magic just for the audience, giving them a hair kit including Walker’s shampoo, conditioner, Q-oil and hair makeup. She throws in eighteen candles for each person, which cost more than $50 each. “It’s a candle-palooza!!!” Winfrey screams.
Next up is the Breville Panini Press, which Oprah said she’s already bought 22 of for her friends. (Included in the box is a recipe for Oprah’s “Love Sandwich” that she makes for Stedman… ow, ow!) She added a Kyocera Ceramic Cutlery Set, Beecher’s “World’s Best” frozen mac & cheese, Ghirardelli brownie mix, Baker’s Edge lasagna and brownie pans. “Every brownie has an edge … genius!!!” the daytime queen proclaimed.
These gifts were followed appropriately with the book “A Course in Weight Loss” by Marianne Williamson and Jay-Z’s new book, “Decoded.”
After another commercial break, the audience receives a five-year Netflix membership. They open a mysterious black pouch under their chairs to find 3-D glasses and 52-inch Sony Bravia LX900 3D flat screen televisions emerge from the ceiling. Of course, every audience member is going home with one, complete with a blu-ray player. “That beat the lasagna, girl!” one member tells Winfrey.
The audience then receives a $100 gift card for use on KIVA.org to fund small businesses for people around the globe, and Groupon is adding $10 to every new loan. I imagine it was nice for the audience to think about giving rather than receiving for two seconds.
Winfrey then stood in front of a giant gingerbread house as she reveals a little bit about her life. “One of the most exciting dates Stedman and I ever had was when he took me to The Container Store,” she tells the audience while opening the doors to the house. She exposes a closet filled with Oprah’s special season 25 farewell season T-shirts and Lululemon workout pants, which the audience received.
They also got four pairs of Nike Free Run+ tennies for the whole family. Oh yeah, and The Container Store is coming to each audience member’s home and building them a whole new closet. “Build. You. A. CLOSETTTT!” Winfrey sings amidst audience screams.
“This is pretty good for a show that started out about meditation,” Winfrey says as a giant box is rolled out by crew members dressed in Santa hats. One such crew member is Brooks. “Brooks is going to be one of your favorite people in a minute,” Oprah tells the audience, already on the edge of their seats. As Brooks begins to turn a crane to open the box, I must admit that I was probably as anxious as the audience. I’m sure they were echoing my thought … TURN THE CRANE FASTER, BROOKS!!!
Inside the box is a giant inflatable replica of Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, the biggest cruise ship in the world. “YOU ARE GOING ON A SEVEN DAY CRUISE!” Winfrey screams to a hysterical audience. Cue the medics.
To cap off the monumental show, the Black Eyed Peas performed. I’m pretty sure my 73-year-old Grandma could have performed and the crowd would have been just as excited during their adrenaline high, but the Peas rocked the stage … and the snow globe they emerged from. The group sang “The Time of My Life” before a gospel choir emerged to back Fergie Ferg as she sang “Little Drummer Boy.” For their final gift, the audience received BEP’s new album, “The Beginning.”
What do you think of Oprah's favorite things?
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