Most of us agree – with only a handful of exceptions (‘The Godfather Part 2,’ for example), sequels aren’t usually as good as the original productions they sprang from. But now you can add Oprah Winfrey’s “Favorite Things” to that short list of legendary exceptions.
Part II of “Oprah’s Favorite Things” on Monday was at least on par with Friday’s Part I extravaganza, and possibly even more extravagant, if only because Oprah’s final gift was the most eye-popping surprise in the history of these over-the-top annual gift giveaways.
It was a 2012 Volkswagen Beetle awarded to every member of Oprah’s audience on Monday’s edition of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show.’ Yes, that’s not a typo – it was not the 2011 model, but the 2012, a totally new Beetle that VW has apparently completely remodeled. This car won’t even be unveiled publicly until May 2011 (though Oprah said VW shipped one from Germany just so she could get an advance peek at it), and Oprah’s audience members won’t even get theirs until a year from now, though they got their keys on Monday’s show.
Watch A Clip From Friday’s “Ultimate Favorite Things”
The Beetle giveaway was Oprah’s final-season swansong to these annual “Favorite Things” spectaculars. And the Beetle was probably the biggest surprise ever, though, in its own way, billionaire Oprah’s revelation that she owns a current-model Beetle that she loves driving around herself was just as shocking.
But long before the audience got the thrill of a lifetime when they heard they would each get a new car next fall, they had already been presented with 19 other gifts, including Apple iPads, diamond earrings and a set of Julia Child’s favorite cookware, the Creuset porcelain and cast-iron cooking pots from France. Ooh-la-la! Monday’s gift list also included food goodies such as Williams-Sonoma mini-croissants, chicken pot pies from Harry & David, and popcorn in a specially designed “Oprah’s Favorite Things” commemorative tin.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Johnny Mathis and Josh Groban came on to sing Christmas songs (their latest CDs were on the gift list too). And looking on from the show’s control room: Oprah’s boyfriend, Stedman Graham – only the third time he’s done so, according to Oprah. Last Friday, Oprah’s gifts included a Caribbean cruise and a diamond-studded wristwatch.
What’s really interesting is, this isn’t even a game show where the participants at least have to earn their prizes – by answering trivia questions perhaps, or guessing the price of laundry detergent (like ‘The Price is Right’). Basically, all an audience member really has to do is show up after being lucky enough to draw tickets for these particular shows.
At the show’s conclusion, Oprah explained the philosophy behind these giveaways. “For me, it’s really about hope,” she said. “It’s about knowing that something really magical and joyful and wonderful can happen to you when you least expect it.”
Here’s what Oprah’s audience received on Monday:
“Classic Sparkles” Ugg boots
Patent leather “Sophia Satchel” by Coach
Magaschoni cashemere sweater with handbeading and matching cashmere leggings.
Hope in a Jar moisturizer by Philosophy in three different sizes.
Two $500 gift certificates to Nordstrom’s lingerie department for you and a friend.
Herb-Savor by Prepara
Centerville Chicken Pie presented by Harry and David
Garrett Popcorn in a Custom Oprah’s Favorite Things Custom Tin
Custom Oprah Set by Le Creuset
Miraclebody Jeans By Miraclesuit
Sophie Jewelry box from Pottery Barn
Jessica Leigh diamond earrings by Dana Rebecca Designs
$100 Donors Choose gift card from Bing
Mini Croissants from Williams-Sonoma
Favorite things Assortment from Talbott Teas with tea set.
“The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo
Johnny Mathis’ CD “Let It Be Me”
Josh Groban’s CD “Illiuminations”
2012 VW Beetle