OK, there was a truckload of glitz on Oprah Winfrey's second last show Tuesday, titled "Surprise Spectacular." I won't argue that. There were certainly some air-kissing celebrities and less-than-stellar performances that I could have done without, too. (Think Michael Jordan and Rosie O'Donnell.).
But there were also profound and truly touching moments. I will take any and all showbiz overkill for the one sequence when the men from Morehouse College who Winfrey sent to school on scholarships marched up the aisles of the darkened United Center in Chicago carrying candles. College graduates as far as the eye could see -- thanks to her generosity.
It was impossible not to get a lump in your throat listening to the testimony from some of those graduates as to how they never would have even graduated from Morehouse let alone become medical doctors and Rhodes scholars without Winfrey's help. God bless her for that.
As Tyler Perry correctly pointed out from the stage: This, too, is one way that Winfrey has and is changing the world -- with her tremendous commitment to education.
People will be talking online about the segment Tuesday that featured her best friend, Gayle King, and Maria Shriver. The former first lady of California thanked Oprah for giving her "the truth" for all the years that they have known each other, and the crowd erupted in applause.
"The truth," Winfrey repeated, holding up Shriver's arm. And was there anyone in the house who didn't see it as a commentary on the liar and cheat Shriver married?
And then came Aretha Franklin singing "Amazing Grace" to take the hour to a level rarely seen or heard on TV. Did you see it? What did you think?
Will you be there Wednesday at 4 p.m. on WBAL for the live finale?
If you have not yet seen it, please check out my 3,500-word interview/profile with Winfrey on her years in Baltimore at WJZ. They weren't all lollipops and sunshine by a long shot, but she says they "grew her up" into the woman who is being celebrated this week in American culture. Read it here.