Oprah 'super fan' from Houston among the lucky few in the final audience


by Shern-Min Chow / KHOU 11 News


Posted on May 23, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Updated Monday, May 23 at 6:20 PM

HOUSTON -- After 25 years, Oprah is saying goodbye to her daily talk show.

A reported 150,000 applied for lottery tickets to be in the general audience. In the end, 13,000 got in, and only a few hundred of those got to be the super lucky, super fans.

Among them was Houstonian Denita Holmes.

"I’ve probably called over 100 times to try get tickets to the show," she said, but it had never worked – until now.

Holmes was practically in the front row during last week’s taping of the final shows.

"Oprah, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks were sitting eight seats away from me!" the sales and marketing manager remembered.

She got to bring one guest, so she took her sister, and they went in style.

"My sister and I got jeans jackets made," Holmes explained. "I wanted everybody to know we were doing ‘Oprah’ Texas-style. It was blinged out with the rhinestones on it."

It was also a star-studded line up.

"Maria Shriver, Gayle, Dakota Fanning, Rascal Flatts, Jamie Foxx, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, Tyler Perry, Michael Jordan, Diane Sawyer, Patti LaBelle, Tom Hanks, Will and Jada," she said, breathlessly.

Celebrities saluted Oprah’s 25 years, and sponsors made generous donations in her name.

Fans paid, too, but not for tickets.

"We had to sit from 5 p.m. till 10:30 p.m. If you did get up, they had seat-fillers that could sit in your seat. I told my sister we’re not going anywhere," Holmes recalled.

There were no bathroom breaks, but they did manage to visit the Oprah store.

"My husband was kind enough to let me go shopping in Oprah’s closet. She sells items that she has actually worn," Holmes said.

All proceeds from Oprah’s closet go to charity, so Holmes donated by buying a skirt.

But what about those fabulous gifts Oprah’s guests can walk away with?

Some have gotten cars and trips to foreign countries.

What did the farewell audience get?

"I got the most phenomenal experience you could ask for," Holmes said.

That, and a box of Kleenex for the teary moments.

Denita Holmes said she was thrilled to have been a part of Oprah history. O, my!