Details of Oprah's Final Show (Video)
"It was phenomenal," says one audience member outside of Harpo studios in Chicago.
What's in store for the last-ever episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, which was taped Tuesday at Chicago's Harpo studios but airs Wednesday?
Maria Shriver returns, according to one fan, as does Tyler Perry. Both were at Oprah's big star-studded send off at the United Center last week. Read THR’s minute-by-minute live blog, and critics’ reviews.
"It was phenomenal," one audience member says of the taping. Watch the video above. "Oprah came out and recapped a lot of moments in her career: big hair, big earrings. She poked fun at herself and talked a lot about how the show impacted her and how she thinks it impacted the viewers."
Adds audience member Wanda Nash, "It was bittersweet. The message was heartfelt, and I took a lot from it. I realized I'm perfect just the way I am." PHOTOS: Oprah's most memorable moments
In addition to Shriver and Perry, Oprah's best friend Gayle King was there (she also was spotted interviewing audience members outside Harpo with a flip cam to use on her OWN show), and Stedman Graham, who watched the final taping from the audience.
"For her final exit, she was surrounded by staffers giving her high fives," says another audience member. "She kept saying, 'We did it! We did it!' and hugging her staff. [She also said], 'This isn't goodbye. It's until we meet again.'"
Harpo's street was renamed "Honorary Oprah Winfrey Street" in Chicago as well.
Winfrey has told The Hollywood Reporter she's confident she's stepping down at the right time. PHOTOS: Hollywood's highest-paid actors
"I'm so happy I didn't stay in the wing until I was punch drunk and people had to drag me out with my microphone and say, 'Enough already!'" she said. "I always thought I would take my cues from the viewers. I took the cue from the landscape of television. It got harder and harder and harder to raise the bar every day. What we're doing is primetime television done in the daytime. The amount of money spent, editors… everything it takes to do this show… it got harder to raise the bar."
As for her Next Chapter, slated to air on OWN? VIDEO: OWN's first promo
“Oprah as we know it with a studio audience is over. We can't do it any better than we've done it," Salata told THR. "I think you can expect to see Oprah out in the world, and having the look and feel very different. it's about what Oprah is interested in exploring and interested in life."
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