First Oprah meets her Canadian competition—9-year-old Daniel Cook, one of the youngest talk show hosts in the world!
Daniel began hosting his own series, This Is Daniel Cook, when he was just 6 years old. Since then, millions of American and Canadian children have tuned in to follow along on his exciting adventures. Daniel has done everything from feeding animals at the zoo to digging for dinosaur bones. In 2006, he even went on the campaign trail as a special political correspondent during the Canadian federal election.
Now, with three TV shows, six books and five DVDs under his belt, Daniel's ready to test his skills as a behind-the-scenes correspondent for The Oprah Show! He'll get access to places few people ever see and interview guests backstage. Oprah will check in later to see how Daniel's doing.
Now 13 years old, Akrit has an IQ of 146 and is considered the smartest person his age in India—a country of more than a billion people. Before Akrit could even speak, his parents say they knew he was special.
"He learned very fast," says Raksha, Akrit's mother. "After learning the alphabet, we started to teach him joining of words, and he started writing as well. He was two."
At an age when most children are learning their ABCs, Akrit was reading Shakespeare and assembling a library of medical textbooks. When he was 5 years old, he enrolled in school. One year later, Akrit was teaching English and math classes.
Akrit developed a passion for science and anatomy at an early age. Doctors at local hospitals took notice and started allowing him to observe surgeries when he was 6 years old. Inspired by what he saw, Akrit read everything he could on the topic. When an impoverished family heard about his amazing abilities, they asked if he would operate on their daughter for free. Her surgery was a success.
Akrit says he has millions of medical ideas, but he's currently focused on developing a cure for cancer. "I've developed a concept called oral gene therapy on the basis of my research and my theories," he says. "I'm quite dedicated towards working on this mechanism."
Growing up, Akrit says he used to see cancer patients lying on the side of the road because they couldn't afford treatment or hospitals had no space for them. Now, he wants to use his intellect to ease their suffering. "[I've been] going to hospitals since the age of 6, so I have seen firsthand people suffering from pain," he says. "I get very sad, and so that's the main motive of my passion about medicine, my passion about cancer."
Currently, Akrit is working toward bachelor's degrees in zoology, botany and chemistry. Someday, he hopes to continue his studies at Harvard University.
In 2005, when Mikhail was only 3 years old, he became one of the youngest members of Mensa, an elite organization open to people with IQs in the top 2 percent of the population. Mikhail—referred to as the "human calculator"—scored 137 on his IQ test.
Mikhail plays with numbers the way most children play with toys. He counts anything and everything...including the number of people in the supermarket.
Now, at age 5, Mikhail is starting to learn square roots and fractions.
Gwyn, an 8-year-old from California, began playing piano and singing when she was just 3 years old. Now, she can sing arias in four different languages!
When Gwyn first heard operatic music, she says she was drawn to the beautiful tones. "When I first started it just, like, came out and I was like, 'Ooh, I like this,'" she says.
Though she has a passion for opera, Gwyn says she listens to all kinds of music...except heavy metal. Currently, she's listening to music by Beverly Sills, an American opera singer, and Sumi Jo, a South Korean operatic soprano.
"It's also called the 'Revenge Aria,'" she says.
Oprah is impressed by what she hears. "A great selection on your part," she tells Gwyn. "Fantastic."
When put to the test, Corinna aces every question. How does she do it? "I memorize it, go through it, repeat," she says. "Sometimes I take something really special for the person, like your hair. If she has braids or something, and link it with the name."
Women are easier to remember than men, Corinna says, thanks to different hairstyles, clothing and makeup. "If all of the men wear suits, are between 40 and 50, and [have] glasses, then it's really difficult because they all look alike," she says.
Corinna says her gift comes in handy socially—she never forgets a face, even if the other person does. "I'm going maybe to one of the men from the day before, 'Hey, can you remember? We met yesterday,'" she says. "He's saying, 'No, I'm sorry.'"
After a harsh perm, Oprah's hair started falling out. "Then I did what balding men do," she says. "You try to hold onto the four hairs you have and slick it over with some Dippity-Do." Finally, Oprah was forced shave her head. "For years I wouldn't put anything in my hair," Oprah says.
Watch as Oprah relives the nightmare.
But Oprah's not the only one who's been traumatized by a bad perm. Jasmine Lawrence lost all of her hair at age 11 after a bad relaxing perm. "It got to the point where I only had hair on the top of my head, so I was braiding it down to cover up this area where I had no hair," she says. "It really changed my life and the way I reacted to other people looking at me and staring."
After attending a camp for young entrepreneurs, Jasmine had another big idea—to start her own business. She found ingredients and learned how to import them all on the Internet!
Now, at age 15, Jasmine is CEO and founder of Eden Body Works, named for the Garden of Eden where everything was pure and natural. Soon, Jasmine could be running her own empire. Big retail chains are now interested in picking up her line. "We meet with Wal-Mart later this month," she says. "We're going to propose to them our home collection."
The Galchenkos left their home and family in Russia when Vova was 15 and Olga was just 12 to move to America for more opportunities. Three years later, Time magazine called them juggling geniuses.
The pair currently holds two world records, including one for passing nine clubs nearly 1,000 times without a drop!
Now 16 and 19, Olga and Vova have only been in the United States for about three and a half years—they taught themselves English while attending public high school. Although they're record-holding jugglers, the siblings have other goals for themselves as well. Olga hopes to get accepted to the University of California at Berkeley to study electrical engineering and computer science.
A thorough reporter, Daniel covers all aspects of the event. He takes his "Dan Cam" backstage to track down model and race car driver Danica Patrick and famed makeup artist Bobbi Brown.
Next is the red carpet, where he catches up with celebs like actress Lauren Hutton, tennis player Billie Jean King and Sex and the City's Kim Cattrall. "I have a niece who's probably half your age who has a heart problem, so I'm here to support her," Kim says.
At the fashion show, Daniel even gets a seat front-and-center next to Glamour magazine editor in chief Cindi Leive! "Do you like fashion?" she asks. "No, I'm a boy," Daniel says.
Like a true reporter, Daniel goes for one more interview with American Idol runner-up Katharine McPhee, who dons a Swarovski Crystal dress. Katharine tells Daniel that the dress has more than 79,000 crystals and weighs more than seven pounds! "Well, you know what? That weighs more than my whole rock collection," Daniel says.
Even though Daniel's a busy television host, he still goes to school every day and even has time for charity!
Still, Daniel says he doesn't want to be a television star when he grows up. "Well, I really, really like dinosaurs, so I really want to be a paleontologist," he says.