For years, former Star 94 jock Tommy Sullivan tried to get on “Survivor” to no avail.
But he applied to be in the audience of Oprah’s final show, which airs today at 4 p.m on WSB-TV locally and was taped yesterday. He was chosen to be part of an audience of just a few hundred due to his heartfelt essay on what Oprah meant to him.
“It was a dream of a lifetime,” he said today while checking out of his hotel in Chicago. “I love Oprah’s light and the healing she brings.”
He brought his friend and publicist Toren Anderson for the ride.
“It was the hottest ticket in TV history,” Anderson said, in publicist’s fashion. But she probably wasn’t far from the truth.
Anderson said Oprah had in many ways already moved on. “She was regal, a little detached,” she said, as Oprah discussed what the show meant to her. “It was very low key to the point of almost feeling like a funeral,” Anderson added. But at the same time, “it was amazing to be there.”
Sullivan said it seemed like Oprah was “mentally and physically checked out” after all the build-up. “She’s ready to move on.”
Sullivan was so spirited during the pre-show that the audience coordinator Sally Lou Loveman invited him on stage and he pepped up the crowd like the great host he can be. (He even wore a green grass shirt, Oprah’s favorite color.)
Anderson got to speak at one point before the show started about how Oprah changed her life. She recalls Maria Shriver looking at her and giving her the love sign and thanks.
Notably, the audience’s prize was simply being there. There were no free cars or free trips for this crowd.
By Rodney Ho, firstname.lastname@example.org, AJCRadioTV blog