There were no cars or vacations or other surprises. Nothing hidden under studio guests’ chairs.
Instead, Oprah Winfrey ended her 25-year daytime television reign on a subdued note: “To God be the glory.”
The final episode of the show felt something like a church service or motivational session.
“You are responsible for your life,” Winfrey said. Many times during the show she spoke of her staff’s dedication to service, and she urged her viewers to embody that concept.
“Each one of you has your own platform,” she said. “Mine is a stage in a studio. Yours is wherever you are. That is where your power lies. You will receive in proportion to what you give.”
The set for the last show was simple: Winfrey and a chair that she never sat on. Instead, she moved around the stage but instead of the “hootin’ and hollerin’” she said she has enjoyed on past shows, she was low key. But there was a quiet power in her words.
“Stop wasting time,” she said. “Live the life that’s calling you and use your life to serve others.”
She invoked her faith several times.
“I have felt the presence of God my whole life,” she said. “Be still, and know it. The only time I’ve made mistakes was when I didn’t listen.”
There were no guests, although Atlanta’s Tyler Perry was in the audience and received a nod from his good friend. Winfrey said she has no regrets from her show but does wish she could have done more to raise awareness about childhood sexual abuse. One of the proudest moments, she said, was when Perry was featured on the show, joined by other men, all of whom said they were abused as children.
Although many in the audience (and at an early screening at WSB) wiped tears away during the show, Winfrey got through the final episode without breaking down.
“People have asked if ending the show was bittersweet,” Winfrey said. “It’s all sweet. No bitter.”
- Jennifer Brett/The Buzzfirstname.lastname@example.org