Oprah Heroes Show
Oprah's Favorite Things
then talked about two groups of the heroes in the audience, "Cookie Baking
Friends who help a different charity each month, to a teacher who funds scholarships
for students, today is the day that you all get to receive with some of our most
loyal ultimate viewers, my next pick is luxurious with a capital L," she
said with a smile, and a model came out with Silk and Cashmere outfit from Magashonie.
Then Oprah talked about
"A Favorite Things all star I've been using for more than ten years; it is
Hope in a Jar from Philosophy. They make beautiful things...We all need a little
hope it's hand-down the best moisturizer I've ever used. In honor of our 25th
season, they've created this Limited edition box--that's Little Negro Me. I mean,
Who would of known that when I took that in Mississippi in 1957 that I would be
on the cover of a box for Hope In jar! That really should say "You've come
a LONG way baby!"
got all three sizes of the moisturizer, and people in the audience were cheering.
Coming from the South, I was surprised that Oprah used the word "Negro,"
because it is viewed as such a derogatory word. I figured it was about the same
as gay people calling themselves slang terms like Homo or Queer, which takes the
sting out of those words when used by other people. As I pondered the aspects
of name calling and how words can be used against us, Oprah was moving on to the
next Favorite Things.
you watch this show, you know that I am passionate about the power of a good bra,
and it is a sad realty that most women are wearing the wrong sized bra,"
she seriously said, and then she called out, "Work it bra ladies!"
Four models came out with
Nordstroms bras and panties, and Oprah talked some more about being properly fitted
for bras. She then said that Nordstroms wanted us all to have a $500 gift certificate
for a Lingerie Splurge. Then she said for the 25th season, Nordstrom gave us all
2 gift certificates, so that we could take a friend shopping with us.
Oprah started singing "Deck the halls with Bras a Plenty!" and the snow
started falling, the music started blasting, and the elves came running through
the hallway right below me. They had the Magashonie Outfits and the gift bags
from Philosophy. There was lots of screaming and everyone was really happy. Of
course Barb and I were so high up in the studio, we didn't get the gifts that
were given out for show, but it was very exciting to be there with all this energy
We then had
a break, where the stage was reset. A table was brought out, and three boxes were
set on it from large to small, with two big presents stacked on top of each other
on the far side. I could hear Oprah talking about her gold shoes she had on that
looked like they had 5 inch spike heels. She was complaining about them saying
things like, "I gotta say that I've got about 10 more minutes in these darned
of us yelled, "Put on the Ugg Boots!" because even though they are sparkly
and shiny with sequins, they sure looked comfortable. A couple of the women in
the front of the audience started passing the boots the elves had handed out towards
the stage, and Oprah started laughing saying, "There aren't any in the studio
to fit my feet! I take a size 10, and Uggs didn't send us any that big!"
When Oprah could stand
the foot pain no more, she went off stage and came back out with these little
flat, gold-looking, slipper things, similar to what you see older women wearing
sometimes. She wore these while the stage was being reset, and the next segment
being discussed. After everything was set, she slipped her spiked shoes back on,
and we were ready to film the next segment.
lined-up behind the smallest box on the table. She pulled it up and over the gadget
that was beneath it, and sang, "So, on the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my true
love gave to me, my next Favorite Thing. Before it came into my life, I'd been
in an Herb Tizzy. I'd been asking everyone how to keep fresh herbs, including
Martha Stewart herself. They only lasted a day or two," Oprah said and then
looked out into the audience and asked, "Did you notice that? It is so hard
to keep them before they wilted, until I discovered THIIIIIS! It's the Herb Savor
by Prepara. You put basil, or any herb inside, and it will stay fresh for weeks!
Now, this is the most exciting this to happen to me this year, really! It costs
$29.99, and I've given them to everybody, whether they wanted them or not! And
Gayle was like, 'What do you do with it????' IT'S A BASIL SAVER!!! SAVE YOUR HERBS!!!!"
Oprah yelled while looking up at Gayle in the audience. "For $29.95 you all
are gonna LOVE IT, I promise you!"
I turned around in my seat, and Gayle was laughing and nodding her head in agreement.
Apparently she is kind of like me, not so great in the cooking department. I leaned
over to Barb and said, "Kathy is going to love that thing!" as Kathy
is the cook in our family, and a darned good one who uses fresh herbs all the
then heard Oprah saying, "Gayle and I first discovered this next favorite
thing when we were on Cape Code last year. Oh my goodness, it is the Centerville
Pie Company's Chicken Pot Pie." She pulled the gift box up, and there was
a big ol' pot pie in a red bowl sitting under it. "THIS is a CHICKEN PIE!
It was love at first bite, and you don't have to go to Cape Cod to try it, because
it is now being offered by Harry and Davids! You can order some and keep it in
the freezer, and you will always have something Delicious for dinner. You get
two pies for $40, so audience warm up your ovens, cause everybody gets CHICKEN
To see how Oprah helped Laurie and Kristin, the owners
of CenterVille Pie company, Click
moved to the next larger gift and said, "OK, well here in Chicago, people
line up down the block, no matter the weather, just to get a taste of this Favorite
Thing!" Oprah slung open the box, and revealed a big red can with the Oprah's
Favorite Things logo on it.
It was at that moment, that I started thinking, How in the heck am I going
to get all this great stuff on the planes when I fly back to Asheville tomorrow
morning? I knew I would not have time to make it to a Fed Ex to ship everything,
and with baggage check-in prices at the airport, I sure as heck couldn't afford
to fly it all down with me. Funny how the mind wanders to the logistics of things
in the middle of something so over-the-top-fun, but that's just where my thoughts
went when I saw that big red can.
"It's worth the line up--it's Garrats!" Oprah yelled, and I noticed
her voice kind of cracked a bit.
I thought about the fact that she had been taping the first Favorite Things Show
along with this one since 7:00 that morning, and surely her voice was getting
a bit tired with all this excitement!
"It is the best popcorn on the planet, I think, and you don't have to fly
to Chicago to get it; you can order it online from anywhere. This year Garrats
has created this special, limited edition, Favorite Things Tin filled with their
famous cheese and caramel. This 6.5 gallon tin retails at $135 and of course everyone's
I was really happy about the popcorn from Garrats, because caramel corn is one
of my favorite things too!
Oprah moved down to the biggest box, which
was sitting on top of another present, and she was smiling and said, "OK,
my staff has been buzzing about what's under this box for months. If you are a
cook, you are going to love this. It's my favorite, and it was the great Julie
Childs' Favorite too; OK take a look at thiiiis!"
flipped back the box top, and the crowd went wild and jumped to their feet. I
was trying to see what was under the box, which looked like a bunch of red pots.
Again, I am not a cook, so I wasn't sure why everyone was screaming and jumping
around. I glanced at the monitor, and I could see a close-up of the pots with
Le Cruset labels on the side of one of them.
"Yes, it's Le Cruset famous cast-iron pots and pans, plus their new line
of stainless steel cookware," Oprah explained. "They call this ten piece
collection 'The Oprah Set,' and it retails for $599.00! So audience now your kitchen
is complete because you are getting all of these in the color of your CHOICE!!!!"
Everyone was clapping
and yelling again, and I was still shocked by how much these pots were, and then
Oprah hollered, "OK KEEBLER HOLIDAY HELPERS, DO YOUR THING!!!"
The snow started again, people were clapping to the blaring Christmas music, Keebler
elves came out in red sweaters and Santa hats carrying the Oprah popcorn tins
and the Herb Savers, and the audience went wild! There was dancing and jumping
around, and everyone was really happy.
Then there was a break so that the stage could be reset. The boxes and gifts from
the previous take were removed, and a big box was brought in and placed on the
table. Oprah left the stage for a bit, and when she came back out she asked us
if we were having fun, and of course everyone yelled "YES!"
I started thinking about the fact that I had never felt this much ongoing happiness
from both myself and the people around me in my entire life! I had gotten to a
point where I really felt I couldn't feel much more joy--something that was surprising
to me as I'd never gone to this level, but there was also a bit of sadness mixed
in there too, because I would not get to speak about our coming out support group,
and what it provides for women coming out worldwide. I was having some very mixed
this next favorite thing might just be a Christmas Miracle. Ladies come on out;
here they come!" Oprah said.
Four models came out wearing jeans, and Oprah continued with, "I give you
the Miracle Body Jeans by Miracle Suit. Put them on and suddenly you look ten
pounds thinner--I'm serious. Why? Because they have a secret panel that holds
in your tummy, and look what the do for your butt!" She instructed the models
to turn around, and we all got to look at their butts. "They come in four
different styles and retail for about $100, so go ahead and have another handful
of Garrats popcorn, because you are getting Miracle Body Jeans!"
Boyfriends LISTEN UP, This next favorite thing will have our sweetie dancing for
music started up, and two ballet dancers came out from the side of the stage.
The woman was dressed in a beautiful cream-colored ballet tutu, and the guy had
on a red and black toy soldier suit. He was carrying a red box as the two of them
danced across the stage.
"There we go!" Oprah said while looking at them. "Well what have
we here? WOW, Why look! It s the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nutcracker Prince from
Chicago's Jodphrey Ballet! This favorite of mine is the Sophie Jewelry box From
Pottery Barn. It is made of pebbled leather and has a mirror and three drawers
built in. It comes in ivory, it comes in porcelain blue and red, and it costs
$179--it's gorgeous; and I understand that you brought some extra sparkle?"
Oprah asked the female ballet dancer. She nodded and opened the box. "You
brought some extra sparkle? YES! and I shall show you what is in here--A little
SPARKLE for you!!!"
reached into the red box and took out something, and everyone started screaming.
I wasn't sure what it was until I looked at the screen behind her. They were earrings.
Oprah was smiling as she walked over behind a big present, and with her elbows
on the box, she held the earrings up to her ears.
"They are Jessica Leigh Diamond Earrings by Dana Rebecca Designs. There are
more than 100 diamonds in each pair. And they come in white, they come in rose
or yellow gold, they retail for $1900, and every single person in this room is
getting a jewelry box and Diamond Earrings TOO!!!"
lifted up the box she'd been leaning on to reveal two of the jewelry boxes in
pastel blue and ivory. People in the audience jumped up and were screaming and
hugging each other. I looked at Barb and she seemed dumbfounded by everything
that was going on. I was thinking about how the earrings are really beautiful,
but I am not a diamond girl--picture jasper is my favorite stone, so I wasn't
as excited and carrying-on like some of the women were.
so we thought that, this group of givers would be the perfect bunch to receive
my next very special Favorite Thing. Donors Choose is a fantastic organization
and a super cool way to give. Public School teachers post their classroom wish
list online, and generous people like you, donate to the classroom of your choose.
That is a great Idea--Donors Choose. So listen to this, our friends at
BING, are sending you home with a gift card so that you can start giving to Donors
Choose, and for everyone of our viewers that go to our Bing.com/give,
and clicks the donation button, BING will donate $1.00 to Donors Choose--up to
1 million dollars! SO THANK YOU BING!!! Isn't that wonderful?" Oprah asked
the audience, and then she yelled "OK,
KEEBLER HELPERS, BRING OUT THE UNCOMMONLY GOOD GIFTS!"
music started up, the snow started falling, and Oprah hugged the two dancers.
The elves came in with the jewelry boxes in the hall next to where I was standing.
We were all clapping, and this is the only point in the whole taping that you
can see me, from the neck down, clapping in the audience above where the elves
left the stage for a bit, and when she came back out she had a book in her hand.
She told us she wanted to read a passage to us, and we all settled down in our
seats to listen.
book has become so important to me, and I read it each and every day. It's called
'The Book of Awakening' and I'd like to read a passage from it called "A
Moment of Dawn"
a sun in every person, the you we call companion. It is essential to realize and
embrace the paradox that while no one can go through your journey for you, you
are not alone. Everyone shares the same pains the same confusions, the same fears,
which is you put out between us, loose their edges and so cut us less.
A very touching story from Thailand captures this soft paradox of how we all journey
alone together. A Rabbi asks his students 'How do you know the moment of dawn
has arrived?' After a great silence, one pipes up 'When you can tell the difference
between a sheep and a dog.' The Rabbi shakes his head no. Another offers 'When
you can tell the difference between a fig tree and an olive tree.' Again, the
Rabbi shakes his head no. There are no other answers. The Rabbi circles their
silence and walks between them, 'You know the first moment of dawn has arrived
when you look into the eyes of another human being and see yourself.'
then said, "Well, there's your book reading from Oprah!" She got a bit
serious and talked about how important it is to help each other, and to acknowledge
what we are each doing in our lives. She talked about how every person she has
interviewed in the last 25 years has always had the same same basic question--that
everyone from Jane Fonda to Beyoncé has always wanted to know the same
thing: "Did I do OK?"
started talking about how important it is to always acknowledge that you are hearing
what another person is saying, and that most every argument really boils down
to one person wanting to make sure that the other person is actually hearing them,
and respecting their beliefs and the right to say what they really mean, and be
who they really are.
was such a heartfelt and earnest message from her to us, that several of us in
my area teared-up, and I passed the box of tissues around.
When Oprah spoke about how most everyone wants one thing, and that's to be heard.
I really teared-up then, because even though I didn't get to speak about our coming
out support group at the taping that day, I felt like I was heard and recognized
for the volunteer work I've done to help women coming out worldwide, and I truly
thank Oprah and her staff for including me in such an amazing way.
I cried on and off through most of the taping, because it was such an honor for
all of us to be recognized for the work we do voluntarily. It was also such an
honor that Oprah had actually heard what we needed to say, and in acknowledgment
she had invited us to her last Favorite Things show ever. She said that she wanted
to give a little back to the people who had been nominated as heroes by others
in their communities.
I was really blown away just being around her--After seeing her TV persona for
all these years, I just had no idea how truly caring and down-to-earth she truly
is, and her entire staff was the same way.
During this time, the stage hands were moving stuff around and they set up a chair
for Oprah to sit on. There was a little table next to the chair with the UGG boots
hanging on the mantel behind her. Oprah had left the stage for a bit, and I figured
her feet were about given out. She came back on the stage, sat down in the chair,
and some kind of food on a dish was placed next to her.
got up and sat back down a few times, and Oprah noticed her doing this and asked
her from the stage, "Gayle, why are you so fidgety up there?"
"I'm worryin' that if the show goes on much longer, that I'm gonna miss my
plane!" Gayle said.
"Girl! Why are you worrying about THAT? Don't you think that WE can get you
out on another plane????" Oprah asked, and we all started laughing, because
if there was anyone in Chicago who could get a person out on a flight, it would
"Favorite Things" started playing and Oprah started singing it. Her
voice was cracking, and the audience joined in. The music faded and everyone sang
the song acapella. It was an amazing, spontaneous moment that no one had planned
saying "VERY GOOD! VERY GOOD!" and then she smiled and said "OK,
I didn't even ask you to do that! THAT'S VERY GOOD!"
you may have heard me rave about these cornucopias of delicious buttery, flaky
goodness before, and some of you may have tried them. It's not the kind of thing
you can do every day, but it makes your house smell like a holiday morning. They
are Williams-Sonomoas Famous Croissants and they are FANTASTIC! You buy them frozen
and you let them set out and they rise, and you put them in the oven in the morning.
I'm telling you, I've never had a croissant that tasted better, other than Paris
itself. So, this year we are featuring mini croissants so your guilt level is
miniaturized. They are $39.95 for a box of 24, so they are worth it; they are
special, and you can give them as a gift or receive them as a gift."
the perfect things to enjoy with your mini croissants, I love a beautiful tea--a
spot of tea. This is the fabulous Holiday Favorite Assortment from Talbot teas.
There are 10 different flavors. The reason I love Talbot is because they have
so many wonderful flavors. Like Luscious Lemon Meringue Tea and Chocolate Almond
Allure Tea. So remember that, it's the perfect gift to give to somebody where
all the teas are assorted and beautifully named, and beautifully flavored with
its own tea set. It retails for $150.00 but for you it's on the house. TALBOTS!"
after your tea-time, you might be ready for a little me-time. I was given this
book as a birthday gift this year, and I started reading it every day. It is called
The Book Of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present To the Life
You Have by Mark Neepo. I do one lesson a day, every morning, and I would
love to know that once you all get this book, that you all are doing a lesson
a day, every morning, and if we all do it together, we can begin to open our hearts
and change the world, and begin to have the life you want by being present in
the life you have now. It's called The Book Of Awakening, the perfect gift
for yourself and your friends."
The music started, and Oprah yelled, "OK, KEEBLER HELPERS BRING OUT THE GOODIES,
and then you won't feel so bad!"
The elves came out and they had some gifts from the last segment, and also the
croissants and some Keebler cookies. We all got to eat the croissants and cookies.
The croissants were REALLY GOOD.
At this point we took a longer break. The stage was being cleared off, and then
a baby grand piano was brought in and there were chairs being set up behind it.
We were allowed to go to the bathroom if needed. Some people went, including Barb,
but I didn't go. I was too busy eating the croissants and talking to the people
that were seated behind us.
Those women seemed in shock--I guess we all were. We started discussing how in
the world we were going to get everything home on the planes. I turned to them
and said, "Well, maybe Oprah will give us a car and we can load it up and
drive our gifts home," and thinking about those diamond earrings I added
"SHOOT, maybe Oprah will give us a Porsche!" We all laughed about this,
and talked about how amazing and unexpected the show was.
Barb came back, and Oprah came down from the stage and was sitting in the audience
a row back from the front. Musicians came out and sat in the chairs behind the
piano, and I wondered what was next.
The stage was now set up, and the stage manager and assistants were looking around
the audience to make sure everyone had returned from their bathroom break. They
absolutely would not start taping until everyone was back in her seat. Someone
was still gone, so one of the assistants was sent down the hall to check on her.
They came back a few moments later, and we were set to go.
The lights were lowered in the audience, and Oprah introduced Johnny Mathis. He
came out, but then Oprah asked asked the stage manager to do a retake as she wanted
to say a bit more about Johnny Mathis. I think she was too excited and didn't
say what she wanted to say. They did a retake where Oprah said, "When I grew
up there was only one Christmas album playing over and over again in my house,
please welcome the legendary Johnny Mathis."
One thing I have to say right here is that at this point it was the ONLY time
during the entire taping that they actually did a retake. For anyone who has ever
worked in movies or TV, this is truly an amazing thing, as it is nonstop takes
all day to get one small segment. That's how smooth and professional Oprah and
her crew are.
seen the Favorite Things Show, it is exactly how it was when we were there. There
was no need for an Applause Sign, and no one ever told us when to cheer or clap.
It was totally natural what was happening that day--the excitement and joy was
totally real, and there was a lot of incredibly happy people at Harpo Studios,
including Oprah and her staff.
Johnny Mathis came out and started singing "Christmas time is here, happiness
and cheer, fun for all, the children call the favorite time of year..."
I heard people start screaming,
and this voice came booming from the right side of the stage, "Silent night,
holy night!" I recognized the voice before I saw Josh Groban. He sang the
first part of Silent Night, and then Johnny Mathis started singing "Chestnuts
roasting on an Open Fire," and the two of them did a duet. It was really
beautiful, and Oprah looked thrilled out of her mind!
to See Johnny Mathis and Josh Groban's Holiday Duet
Oprah exclaimed. "That has never happened before in the History of singing,
Johnny Mathis and Josh Groban, my dream Christmas duet! THAT IS SOMETHING! And
everybody is getting Johnny's Let It Be Me, and Joshes new album called
Illuminations!" Oprah walked up on the stage and spoke to Johnny and
Josh, "I have to say that this was my dream wish and thank you both for making
it happen! Thank you for making it happen!" she kissed them both and looked
then took a little break where it was explained that each singer was going to
be filmed singing a song separate for Oprah.com. They each came out and sang,
which you can their videos here:
Mathis Performs Crazy Video
Performs Higher Window Video
Afterwards the stagehands started clearing off the stage. By then it was around
6:00, and I figured that they were clearing the stage for the next days filming.
This took quite a long time, and at that point, I figured that the show was done,
and that Oprah would come out and say good-bye, and it would be the end of a very
wild and exciting day.
We were all sitting around and talking, and all of the sudden, I started hearing
this beeping noise. The back of the stage opened up, and here comes Oprah sitting
in a red VW Beetle being driven by someone dressed up like Santa! Everyone starts
screaming, snow started falling, Oprah got out of the car, and, well, I hope you
can see the video:Oprah's
Final Favorite Thing
Oprah personally owns a Volkswagen Beetle and says she loves
to "toodle" around town in it. But this audience isn't receiving the
classic model--they're getting the brand new, totally redesigned 2012 Volkswagen
For only the
second time in Volkswagen history, the iconic Beetle has been totally redesigned
for 2012, inside and out. The project is so top secret, the only prototype of
its kind was flown to Harpo Studios from Germany. No one outside of VW has seen
the new Beetle, but Oprah was given special permission. "This is one powerful,
sophisticated, sexy Beetle," Oprah says. "All of you in this audience
will be the first people in the world to own one when it makes its debut next
Beetle will not be revealed until May 2011, so Oprah gives the audience a sneak
peek of the silhouette of their new cars:
Elves were now dressed in black VW T-shirts with the silhouette
of the new VW, and they had lots of boxes that were handed
out to the entire audience. Each box has a real blank VW Key.
That's the one thing we got to keep that was actually given
out during the show--well, besides the croissants and the
The music was blaring, the snow was falling, and lots of people
were crying, including me. After they stopped taping, Oprah
spoke to us for a few more moments. She was really excited
about the car, and told us that the 2012 VW Beetle looks Like
a Porsche. The women behind me grabbed my shoulder and asked,
"Didn't you say PORSCHE???" I nodded my head because
I was pretty much speechless by then.
Read about what happened
after the show, and when I picked up the new 2012 VW Beetle!
Oprah Heroes/Favorite Things Show: