So the day after Dance Fever, the second last day of school, I finished work early to catch a bus into town to meet my sister...
...so we could go see Oprah!
You know Oprah? The person all the hysteria has been about.
I was super excited to be going. I'm no huge fan of her's but she is a cultural phenomenon and I love me one of those. It was amazing to be part of the "Oprah in Australia" behemoth.
The reality was somewhat disappointing. I don't know if I was just worn out and drained from a few weeks of constant crazy. I don't know what it was but I just couldn't feel the vibe. I couldn't get into the screaming and excitement and the loosing my mind which was going on all around me.
I think it was a combination of things. The long wait before her royalness actually appeared. The fake clapping, cheering and laughing that we were coached to perform for the audio recording prior to the actual taping. The hyper-excitement of the others in the audience; instead of being contagious just made me annoyed and pushed me in the opposite direction.
We were lucky to get seats in the second row so we were up close and personal. For me the lowlights of the event were the interviews with Bono (O: "why did you choose Jay-Z to support you on your tour"; B: "...he's amazing... he's bringing rap to the world [we don't want it, take it back where it came from]... he's so brave [ah, no he's not, fuck off]) and Olivia Newton-John. All the "interviews" - and I use the word very loosely - were banal to the max; five minutes of utter tripe ("you're so wonderful"... "no, you're just amazing"). Give me a break... and a bucket while you're at it.
The highlights were Hugh Jackman hitting the lighting rig right above our heads. Not that I wish that gorgeous man any harm (well I did briefly after seeing Wolverine, oi vey) but it was the only mildly interesting and unscripted thing that happened all day. Despite myself I also semi-enjoyed the Nicole Kidman/Keith Urban interview, not because it provided any earth shattering insights into, well, anything. But it did give a glimpse of Nicole as a real woman, a nervous talker, a clutz; despite her airbrushed exterior I suspect lurking underneath all that bullshit facade is actually a funny, un-co kind of chick who would be fun to hang out with.
As corny as the finale actually was I did get a thrill out of it. Even a stone hearted cow like me can't help but be moved by the Australian Children's Choir singing I Still Call Australia Home while a gigantic Oz flag is unfurled above our heads.
Oprah herself seemed warm and genuine and fun. While the scripted and produced parts of the show were flat and about as appetising as the leftover bits of WeetBix stuck on the bottom of the bowl and left in the sink all day, the in-between bits showed a little of what she is all about. Unfortunately there just weren't enough of those bits for me and way too many of the other ones.
Of course the diamond necklace was the final sweetner and it was somewhat disappointing to find out we would be leaving with only a card giving us all the details for how to register to receive it, rather than with the real thing in our hot, sweaty little hands. Despite myself I am excited to be getting it and I won't be selling it on Ebay even though Big Jay thinks that would be a great idea. I was part of a tiny big moment in popular culture history and my diamond O will remind me of that. When the grandkiddies come to visit me in Shady Pines I'll get it out and say "Did I ever tell you about the day I went to see Oprah?".