A bunch of pictures from the taping of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Tuesday, May 17 have given a preview to the show's finale. During the four-hour taping, A-listers gathered at Chicago's United Center to join Oprah Winfrey in recording two farewell episodes that will air next week.
Tom Cruise appeared as the first guest in the first hour which was hosted by Tom Hanks. The "Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol" actor, who donned a casual black ensemble, told Oprah he has been on the show 12 times.
Madonna then took the stage, saying that Oprah is the only living person who inspires her. Dakota Fanning came out next to introduce loyal viewers who have watched the show their entire lives. Halle Berry, Katie Holmes and Queen Latifah were also there to recall how Oprah viewers have changed the world by becoming foster parents and starting charitable foundations.
The first hour was wrapped with all the stars, including musical performers Jackie Evancho, Josh Groban, Patti LaBelle, Beyonce Knowles and Rascal Flatts, returning to the stage. Oprah hugged them one by one and shouted, "I feel the love!".
The second hour was hosted by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. Michael Jordan was the first guest, telling Oprah that he came to Chicago the same year as she did, which is in 1984. Jerry Seinfeld then delivered a comedy routine.
Jamie Foxx sang with Stevie Wonder playing his piano, while Rosie O'Donnell performed "Fever" which lyrics were changed to express how much she will miss Oprah. Kristin Chenoweth was another musical guest, while Maya Angelou performed a poem she wrote especially for Oprah as Alicia Keys played the piano.
Oprah was also joined by her best friends Maria Shriver and Gayle King, the former of which had just learned her husband Arnold Schwarzenegger made a revelation about his infidelity a day before the taping.
The biggest surprise for Oprah was perhaps the appearance of her longtime partner Stedman Graham, who rarely appears in public. "Honey, you are so special, and I am so happy... I'm so proud of you," he praised her. Oprah joked, "Holy Jesus from God, what is happening? Stedman is on stage!"
Stedman then introduced Aretha Franklin, while Usher was billed to deliver the last performance. Before it ended, Oprah thanked her fans, "I've never experienced anything like this and I say once again thank you for taking me to a place that's beyond joyous."
Few days after the taping, David Letterman said he was not happy for being snubbed from the show finale. "More than upset," he said on "Late Show with David Letterman" on Thursday, May 19. "Crushed. I mean, disappointed and crushed. I wanna just bask in the glory that is Oprah. Who doesn't?"
Revealing how he has spent "12-15 years kissing up to Oprah", David joked, "Honest to God, everyday I get out of bed and I think 'What can I do to suck up to Oprah?' Because I decided at some point, I love Oprah. I want to be on Oprah's bandwagon, I want to be part of Oprah, I want to be on the show, I want to be on the magazine, I want the whole Oprah deal. I want it all."
The shows taped on May 17 will air in a two-part series on May 23 and May 24. "Oprah" final show, meanwhile, airs on May 25.