Behold, A Play-by-Play of the Season Premiere
By Becca Lemire
Every time CTV plays those fuzzy Oprah’s-last-year montages that pop up out of nowhere during commercial breaks for other shows, and I just happen to be in front of my TV, I let out a single sob. I know not all of you are fans. And even I can admit that in recent years, she’s taken a bit of a strange turn and will often interrupt notable guests to scream and make noise. And maybe she’s not the coolest, the youngest, the hippest, but her worldwide command over pop culture is undeniable. The people making headlines often will go to no one but her to share their story (look out for an exclusive L-Lo interview coming up), and let’s not forget she’s BFF with practically everyone in the biz (except Hermes and Cattle Ranchers).

I have been a super-fan of everything Oprah for as long as I can remember, and it will truly be the end of an era when this season, her 25th, and her entire show, is over. Apparently she’s moving on to bigger and better things, like starting an Oprah Network, and focusing on her charity work dedicated to the education of African girls, but her show will be gone. Four o’clock pm, Monday-Friday will be an empty dark daytime hole. But for you Oprah, for this season, I’m gonna do my best to watch every show (no homo). And if I miss you at 4pm, I may just have to sneak into my mom’s place and watch it at 5pm, 7pm, 9pm or 1pm and 2pm the next day on Rogers Timeshift.

This Monday was the much-anticipated season premier and boy, did it ever deliver like Octo-mom. John Travolta, one of her besties, walked her out onstage to the song “Love Train” by The O’Jays and then we watched a clip-montage (get ready for lots of montages) that showed highlights from his 11 times appearing on the show. They have both made each other cry, they’ve danced together (in the style of Saturday Night Fever, Pulp Fiction and Hairspray) and John has been voted one of the fan’s favorite guests of all time. Then John says “Oprah, there’s only one of you and there will never be another one,” and Oprah gets misty in the corneas.

We are delighted by several more montages, highlighting some past opening sequences, theme songs, and funny moments, including the race to get (bribe) Don Johnson of Miami Vice as the first guest on the very first show at a time when he was the bee’s knees. He declined, despite Oprah sending him Snooki-style rhinestone shades as an enticement, and then, whaddyaknowit, Don Johnson himself walks out onstage wearing the rhinestone shades and surprises Oprah. “No they didn’t!” she screams over and over, referring to her producers who somehow managed to surprise the host on her very own show.

All of the audience members for the premiere are hand-picked super fans who are all downright hysterical during the hour. We learn more about them, and how the Oprah show has changed their lives. One lady from Alberta (woot), after watching John Travolta’s Birthday Wishes speech to Oprah on a special show for her 50th birthday, felt so inspired she raised money to buy a plot of land in Africa and build a house herself for orphaned girls. Oprah and John get emotional. Oprah pays tribute to some of her “man fans” and we see clips of several fans being surprised ahead of time with tickets to this show.

The main event is a suspenseful, drawn out surprise for the entire audience (something Oprah loves doing): They are all getting a free luxury trip to Australia!!! John Travolta comes out once again in Airline Captain garb, standing on the steps of a huge commercial airline that gets wheeled onto the stage surrounded by smoke, as he is a legit pilot, you know. Australian reps hand out flags, people cry and jump around, and some run onto the stage to hug Oprah. Those fans are very lucky, because that would normally never have been allowed.

In the last segment Oprah is surprised by her producers once again, with one of her all-time favorite musicians, Paul Simon, giving her and the audience a special performance. When he is revealed onstage, she let’s out a really long, high pitched scream that remains the exact same note the entire time. Oh Oprah, we have many grand days ahead of us, don’t we.