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For show's finale week, it's Oprah who's in for big surprises

By the CNN Wire Staff
Oprah attends "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular" at the United Center on May 17 in Chicago, Illinois.
Oprah attends "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular" at the United Center on May 17 in Chicago, Illinois.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The final three episodes of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" will air this week
  • "Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular" will air Monday and Tuesday
  • Winfrey cries after college graduates whom she helped join her on stage
  • The final episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" will air Wednesday
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Tune in to "Piers Morgan Tonight" for a special tribute to Oprah Winfrey. Piers talks with Gayle King, Suze Orman, Lisa Ling and more about the impact that Oprah and her show has had on American culture.

(CNN) -- Oprah Winfrey has set the bar high for surprising the masses -- whether it's giving audience members cars or bestowing fans with trips to Australia.

But the tables will turn Monday and Tuesday, when Oprahphiles will see an astonished talk show queen during "Surprise, Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular."

Winfrey was kept out of the loop about the guests for the two-show extravaganza, which was taped last week.

The guest list rivals those of the Grammys and Oscars combined: Beyonce; Stevie Wonder; Madonna; Queen Latifah; Patti LaBelle; Aretha Franklin; Michael Jordan; Jerry Seinfeld; Jamie Foxx; Josh Groban; Diane Sawyer; Maya Angelou; Halle Berry; Will Smith; Jada Pinkett Smith; Kristin Chenoweth; Usher. The list goes on.

And while Winfrey has paid tribute to teachers, philanthropists and people from all walks of life on her show, the surprise spectactular was clearly a tribute to her legacy.

One of the most poignant moments of the taping occurred when hundreds of alumni from Morehouse College in Atlanta brought Winfrey to tears.

The men surrounded Oprah on stage, grateful for her scholarship endowment that helped them become doctors, lawyers, hedge fund managers and military officers. Each graduate carried a small light, which added up to an awe-inspiring sight when the men gathered on stage.

As Oprah devotees mourn the end of her talk show's 25-year run, some speculate who -- if anyone -- can fill her void.

Some already have a leg up on the competition.

"I've spent seven to eight years training at Oprah University," joked Mehmet "Dr. Oz" Oz, a Winfrey protege whose show will upgrade to 83 time slots and stations where "The Oprah Winfrey Show" had aired. "I spent less time in med school."

Oz added that he is grateful for the opportunity to take over Winfrey's time slot, which is among the most sought-after on-air real estate in TV land.

There is no shortage of those who could be Winfrey's industry heir.

Along with already existing talk shows from the likes of Dr. Oz, Ellen DeGeneres and another Winfrey-created star, Phil "Dr. Phil" McGraw, new shows will debut from CNN anchor Anderson Cooper and former talk show host Ricki Lake.

The final episode of Oprah will air Wednesday.

Winfrey was reportedly producing the final show herself and is keeping her plans secret -- leaving her fans with one last surprise.

CNN's Lisa Respers France, Brooke Baldwin and Megan Thomas and contributed to this report.

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