Justin Carey

Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios

Strings were pulled, favors were called in and a few arms were twisted—all to make the last-ever Harpo Hookups show the biggest and best!

If you look up "Ultimate Oprah Show Viewer" in the dictionary, you'll probably see a picture of our first Harpo Hookup candidate, 17-year-old Justin Carey.

The honor roll student, aspiring broadcast journalist and self-described Oprah Show addict says he's been a fan since he was just 5 years old, and after watching Oprah's 20th Anniversary DVDs countless times, he can even finish Oprah's sentences.

Over the years, Justin has written nearly 200 emails to Oprah Show producers, covering everything from his mother to his favorite teacher to his decision to sign the No Phone Zone Pledge. But there's one thing that has this "King of Oprah Show Trivia" stumped: how to score a seat in our audience.

In 2010, our audience department tried to book Justin for Oprah's Ultimate Favorite Things audience, but unfortunately, Justin was too young—audience members must be 18. After the holiday giveaway, he sent another letter to producers. "I know something bigger and better will happen because I've heard Oprah say so many times, 'God can dream a bigger dream for you than you can dream for yourself,'" he wrote.

Justin has no idea that his biggest dreams are about to come true!
Justin Carey

Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios

To hook Justin up, we invited him to Chicago for a behind-the-scenes tour of The Oprah Show. Justin is told he can take a peek inside the studio to see a show taping in progress. Oprah plays along and ad-libs about a fake topic—spring-cleaning.

Then, Justin learns this isn't a show about spot removal—it's a Harpo Hookup! Oprah calls out to a speechless Justin and asks him to come onstage.

Since it's the final season and Justin is just a few days shy of turning 18, Oprah makes an exception to the age limit. "I thought that would be nice if we bent the rules a little bit," she says."So how about I give you a few of my Ultimate Favorite Things?"

Justin is getting a Sony Bravia 3D TV, Nikon D3100 Digital SLR Camera, Le Creuset cookware and more! But there's one Ultimate Favorite Thing missing...
Justin Carey

Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios

"It's the brand new 2012 Volkswagen Beetle!" Oprah says.

See all of Oprah's Ultimate Favorite Things

"Oh my gosh, thank you," Justin says. "I can't believe this!"

The audience also won't be leaving empty-handed—thanks to Citi, each audience member is going home with 25,000 Thank You Points, which can be redeemed for flights, dining out and more.

Joey and Jessica


Joey, another Oprah Show viewer, says he's been living a fairy tale ever since he tried out for a local theater production of Cinderella and met his girlfriend, Jessica. "I was reading the part of the prince, and she was Cinderella," he says. "Throughout rehearsal, we just became inseparable."

It's no wonder Joey met Jessica on the set of Cinderella—she's a huge Disney fan. "We do everything Disney," Joey says. "Watch the movies, we listen to the music, we dress up as Disney characters. We've even talked about naming our first daughter Ella for Cinderella."

Joey wished upon a star, hoping for a hookup to make Jessica's Disney dreams come true. "Jessica's biggest dream is being one of the princesses and being in that [Disney] parade, riding in that carriage just making everyone happy and seeing the smiles on everyone's faces," he says. "Only Oprah can get me this hookup!"
Joey and Jessica

To pull off Jessica's hookup, Oprah Show producers staged a fake casting call for actresses who wanted to play a princess.

Surprise! Jessica isn't getting a part in a play—she'll be hopping on a plane to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, to be the guest of honor in the Magic Kingdom Parade.

"It's something I dreamed of my entire life," Jessica says. "I've always wanted to be a princess, and I just never thought it would happen to me."
Joey and Jessica

Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios

There's still one more chapter in this couple's fairy tale—Joey has a question he'd like to ask Jessica.

"I love you with everything that I am, and I want to make you the happiest person alive," Joey says. "I want to grow old with you. So it would be a great honor, Jessica, if you will be my bride. Be my wife. Be my best friend. Jessica, will you marry me?"

"Oh my God," Jessica says. "Yes!"

Ultra Diamonds provided Jessica's dazzling engagement ring—princess cut, of course!

To give this couple the royal treatment, Disney Fairy Tale Weddings is throwing them and 100 guests a wedding they'll never forget. Joey and Jessica will arrive in Cinderella's coach and take their vows at the wedding pavilion, complete with their own private fireworks display. They'll spend their wedding night in—where else?—the Cinderella Castle Suite.

Afterward, the newlyweds will take off for their honeymoon—a Disney Cruise! They'll set sail to the Caribbean and lounge by the pool, get pampered at the spa and dine at fine restaurants.

Disney has a little fairy dust left over for the audience too. Each person is going home with a gift basket from Disney Parks, including a $200 gift card.
Ron Brown

One of our loyal male viewers, James, wrote into The Oprah Show in hopes of getting a hookup for his best friend Ron. "He's selfless, he's loving, he's caring," James says. "It's really like we're brothers."

Ron works as an assistant manager at Walgreens, but James says his true passion is sports. "Sometimes when we're watching sports together, Ron will pretend that he's on television. He does his own updates," James says. "Ron's dream job has always been to be on ESPN as a broadcaster."

To pull off this slam-dunk surprise, Harpo had ESPN anchors Ryan Burr and Kevin Negandhi tape a special segment. Ron thinks he's at a bar to watch a game, but little does he know, he's the big story of the day.

"Ron Brown of Cleveland, Ohio, yes, we're talking to you," Kevin says on ESPN. "Listen up, here's the deal: We're sending you on assignment. You're going to interview one of the biggest stars in the NBA, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls."

"And after your interview, you're going to head back here to our ESPN anchor desk and give us the low down," Ryan says.

"Oh my goodness," Ron says. "I don't believe it!"
Ron Brown

Days after the surprise announcement, Ron is sent out on assignment to a Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers game. "I'm going to interview Derrick Rose for ESPN," Ron says. "This is definitely the opportunity of a lifetime."

As sports fans pack into Conseco Fieldhouse, our rookie reporter picks up his media credentials and takes his seat, notebook in hand, to watch the game.

After the game, Ron has an exclusive one-on-one with the Bulls' MVP point guard. Then, it's off to the ESPN anchor desk for his on-air report.

Ron: Ron Brown here on the Sports Center set, and I'm joined by NBA player and ESPN analyst Jon Barry. Let's get right into it. Derrick Rose, I got to watch him play yesterday. He's definitely quick, and he's definitely explosive to the rim. What makes him such a good player besides those two things?

Jon: He's got an unbelievable ability. Once he gets in the air, he can kind of move his body to avoid that contact. And, boy, he's a special, special player.

Ron: Jon, thank you very much. Opportunity of a lifetime for me. I'm so excited. This is a dream come true. We're going to go ahead and send it back to the desk.

Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios

Oprah commends Ron on his first TV gig. "You sounded like a pro!" she says.

"I hope so," Ron says. "I was nervous for that one segment, and it was just so much excitement. It was wonderful."

Ron says his favorite part of the experience was being inside the ESPN studios. "For anyone that's a sports fan, they know that's like the mother ship and the mecca for sports broadcasters," he says. "Everybody was so helpful, and they wanted me to do a good job. I was so happy."

Gabby Sullivan, a teacher, wrote into The Oprah Show to tell us about seven of her students: Jakina, Isabel, Bailey, Paris, Eliza, Shanae and Alex. "They are so special because they have just taught me more than I believe I can teach them," she says. "For many of the girls, their lives have been in and out of foster care. Some of them have been adopted and returned. Some of them do not know what it's like for their mother to sit down with them and put makeup on them or tell them that they're beautiful."

The girls have prom in a few weeks, and Gabby says they won't have the opportunity to get new dresses or have their hair done...unless they get a Harpo Hookup!

"My message to these girls is that they can do anything. That they can be anything. That they can dream as big as they want to dream. That there is no limit to what they can do,” she says. "And to know that Ms. Sullivan loves them."

"I love teachers with that kind of passion and dedication and love for their students," Oprah says. "So we knew just who to call for this prom dress SOS—singing star-turned-fashion mogul Ms. Jessica Simpson."

Jessica went down to Jacksonville, Florida, to surprise Gabby's girls with dozens of dresses, showstopping shoes and plenty of bling—everything they need for an unforgettable prom night. 

See their reaction! Watch

With Jessica acting as the girls' celebrity stylist, they each picked out the perfect ensemble. "It's all about self-esteem," Jessica says. "It's all about finding confidence, and you can do that with a great pair of heels!"

Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios

After spending the day with Jessica, the girls reveal their gorgeous new looks on Oprah's stage.

Eliza says this was the experience of a lifetime. "I never imagined any of this to happen," she says. "I feel super blessed."

Jessica's not done hooking these seven girls up—each will be going home with a new wardrobe from Jessica's latest fashion collection!

And that's not all...each audience member will also receive a roller bag packed with jeans and accessories from the Jessica Simpson Collection.

To top it all off, Dove, who is committed to inspiring girls to reach their full potential, is giving each girl a $10,000 scholarship for her education.

Dove also wants to honor Gabby for being the kind of teacher the world needs more of. Another scholarship will be given in her name, so even more students can realize their dreams.

Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios

What's a Harpo Hookups show without a surprise guest?

Hollywood heartthrob Johnny Depp stops by Harpo Studios for a celebratory toast with Oprah on 25 amazing years. 

Johnny has been working on his new movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth movie in the series, and he says playing Captain Jack Sparrow has become a part of who he is. "This is the fourth one, so I could keep going," he says. "I really could."

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides doesn't come out for a few weeks, but Johnny has a hookup for this audience—they're getting a sneak peek! 

Watch the surprise Watch

"Right this moment, buses are standing by, ready to take all of you to a movie theater so that you can be the first people in the world to see Johnny's brand new Pirates movie," Oprah says.

There's one more thing. "I'd like to be there for you because I want to make sure all the condiments and things are in order," Johnny says.

Before the audience takes off to spend an afternoon at the movies with Johnny, there's one more guest who wants to share a message with Oprah.

"Hello, Oprah and everyone. This is Lady Gaga. Congratulations on the last Harpo Hookups show. I feel so privileged and honored that I've ever been invited to perform on your show, and I only wish that I could be there today, except, sadly, I could not find the right pair of shoes to wear. Unless, of course..."

Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios

Surprise! The stage opens up to reveal Grammy-winning artist Lady Gaga, who performs "Born This Way" and "You and I."

It looks like she found the right shoes. "My sister, who's 19 years old, she's a fashion student, and she created a sculpture of a high heel. This was her first piece in college," Lady Gaga says. "I made it into a piano to surprise her. Surprise, Natalie!"
FROM: Oprah Presents the Last-Ever Harpo Hook-Ups
Published on May 05, 2011


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