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After the taping, Oprah calls Leslie's team to her office to discuss the surprise. "I thought it was a sweet moment but too early to be doing that to me," she says. "Love can build a bridge, yes it can. Let it build that bridge around April, May."

Watch their discussion

Still, Oprah says she is grateful for the realization she had during taping. "What's amazing is that it's the 25th season and I can still have an aha! moment," she says.

"Even though Oprah was a little bit upset about us trying to surprise her so early in the season, just getting that one moment where Oprah says I've learned something even after 25 years is what you want as a producer."

Follow senior producer Jack's return to Williamson, West Virginia

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