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It's the second-to-last Oprah Winfrey show ever! And we're liveblogging the finale special. Because we're Oprah junkies. Here we go.
4:00 p.m.: Here we go. The previews promise Jerry Seinfeld. Zoom into Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey in her purple L'Wren Scott dress. The announcer calls out Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith—they come walking down the steps to greet Oprah. Will is wearing a purple shirt and tie and Jada looks amazing in a white sheath.
4:01: "We've got another jam-filled packed hour of magic and excitement," Will Smith says. Jada gets really close to Oprah and thanks her for 25 years. This is serious. She means it. "I know you don't have children of your own, but you have mothered millions," Jada says. Very touching.
4:02: OMG it's Michael Jordan! Oprah is screaming into the mic. Now they are hugging. "MJ's in the house!" shouts Oprah.
"This young lady, we came into Chicago about the same time," Jordan says. "You have done wonders for me. I know you've been a fan of basketball, but I've been a fan of yours. I can feel the energy. This feels like I'm playing the game here, the energy here is unbelievable... You mean a lot to me, you inspire me. If you ever need a job, I got one for you."
Will Smith is now walking through the audience, asking the men to cheer. Jamie Foxx is sitting in the audience! "The reason I love the Oprah Winfrey show is because we've got something special, I'm surprised Stedman hasn't whupped my ass by now," Foxx says. "It's not just about the show, it's about you as a friend." Now he's singing "Isn't She Lovely."
OMG Stevie Wonder!
4:10: Will Smith introduces Jerry Seinfeld. "We are trying to figure out how much one person can take, and we're going to keep going until you can't take it anymore," Seinfeld jokes. He's been on the Oprah show in lots of decades—"It's one of the greatest gifts to the husband in training that any man can receive. And all men are husbands in training—you're never done with us. The most a man can hope for is, 'Alright, we're done for today.' And to be here at the United Center and not at a Bulls' game is certainly proof that I've been trained very well."
4:12: "Learn to talk like you're being interviewed on Oprah," Seinfeld says about being in arguments with his wife. "Listen, nod, and just answer the questions. Because it's all about listening."
We almost forgot how funny Seinfeld is, we haven't seen him do standup in years. He's brilliant.
4:18: Oprah says she'd be a fourth grade teacher if she hadn't gotten into television. Cut to schoolteacher in Oklahoma who shows vignettes from the Oprah 20th anniversary boxset in the classroom. She shows the drunk driving episode before prom.
Wow, Simon Cowell is here! He's wearing glasses!
Cowell says that he and Oprah are good friends and they always tell each other the truth. He seems oddly subdued. He says she's a very good kisser. Cowell is introducing a group. Oprah looks confused.
It's Rosie O'Donnell! She's going to do a song! OMG. It's a rendition of Fever with different words about the show.
Now Dr. Phil is on! He's saying something. Oh, we get it, Rosie's introducing all the talk show hosts Oprah has launched. Now it's Nate Berkus. And Dr. Oz. He's talking about S-shaped poop.
4:26: Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith onstage. Introducing Gayle King and Maria Shriver. OMG this is the Maria Shriver moment we've been reading about all week!
Gayle King is wearing a fuchsia one-shoulder dress. Maria Shriver in a sparkling navy blue gown. Her hair is amazing.
"You have bestowed the most amazing friendship on me, you've given me love, support, wisdom, and most of all the truth," Shriver says. The audience starts screaming and cheering. "And I know I'm not alone in receiving those gifts from you." Oprah has her arm around Shriver and they're holding hands. It's very touching.
Film montage of teens and kids who are talking about how Oprah inspiring them to go to school. "Because of Oprah I went to school." 64,688 students.
4:28: Tyler Perry - "She has lived her life pushing her destiny to its boundaries with the wind of God at her back. When you educate a black man you empower families, you empower sons and daughters and you change generations." She's educated more than 415 men at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Wow. Montage of men who graduated from Morehouse who have gone on to do amazing things.
"Not receiving a college education was certain death," says one recipient of the Oprah Winfrey scholarship, class of 1993.
These are very moving stories. "I feel that Oprah Winfrey took over where my mother left off," says one scholarship recipient whose mother died.
"I would show her I've honored the legacy and contribution she's given me in the way I've dedicated my life to serving others," says one scholarship recipient. Oprah is teary-eyed onstage.
Many of the scholarship recipients have pledged $300,000 to start their own scholarship fund.
4:32: Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth is doing a song, the scholarship recipients are walking up from the audience, holding candles. Oprah is openly crying.
"And because we knew you, we have been changed for good."
4:35: "That was amazing," Oprah says. "It's the men from the 'House! Morehouse!"
4:39: Hally Berry introducing Maya Angelou, who wrote a poem special for Oprah's finale. Seriously. Accompanied by Alicia Keys. Montage of photos of a young Oprah.
"I want to give voice to the voiceless."
"She said: Be strong, be kind, and call me Oprah."
4:42: Alicia Keys is performing Superwoman.
4:46: Nate Berkus is backstage talking to Tom Hanks. Gayle King is backstage at the United Center. These are sponsored spots by Target and Sprint.
4:47: Everyone stands up. Look it's Stedman!!!!!!! We never get to see Stedman!!!! Oprah has this shocked look on her face.
"It really does amaze me that I get to be around a woman who changes people's lives everyday and who also takes her own lunch to work," he says. He calls her "honey," it is so sweet.
"I can't believe that colored girl from the backwoods of Mississippi has done all that you have done," he says. "I love you for making a difference in my life." Now he's introducing Aretha Franklin.
4:49: Aretha Franklin looks resplendent in a white floor-length gown. She's singing Amazing Grace.
Oprah is openly crying.
4:52: Franklin segues into a peppier number.
4:56: Usher is here! Looks like he's going to sing a song. "Oh Happy Day." everyone, all the celebs, are on stage hugging and clapping and singing along. Now there's confetti. This is great. Happy day. Yay.
· Oprah [Official Site]