This week, Ottawa lawyer Prasanna Ranganathan has a blind date with two women. Luckily, they have a lot in common. “We’re all huge Oprah fans, so we developed a friendship over Twitter and email,” he says. The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) Ambassadors—“our unofficial moniker,” he laughs—plan to meet for brunch before heading to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on April 16, where talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey is filming her first-ever Canadian broadcast.
“As soon as they announced it, I was on the phone in 20 minutes,” says 31-year-old Ranganathan. Tickets sold out within 24 hours (a second show added later also sold out). Like his two friends, Ranganathan got lucky the first time around, skipping the cheap seats ($49) and securing the coveted “emerald seating” ($395) at Oprah’s feet. The same ticket is now being offered for $1,550 on Kijiji, but Ranganathan won’t be selling his spot. “I feel like Dorothy from Oz headed to the Emerald City,” he says.
Joining the pilgrimage is Liz Toole, a 47-year-old real estate advertiser from Truro, N.S. Toole has watched The Oprah Winfrey Show religiously for 23 years, has seen the show taped twice in Chicago, subscribes to the very successful O Magazine and has read every book club selection. She was even chosen to tour Australia as one of 300 “ultimate viewers” in 2010, but doesn’t consider herself lucky. “I don’t use the word luck,” she says. “Like Oprah, I believe that things are meant to happen.”...Oh, my. Time to get a grip, people. She isn't Mother Flipping Theresa. She isn't even Oprah Semple McPherson. She's just a chubby ex-chat show host from Chicago who harbours delusions of spiritual grandeur--and who's ultra-keen to separate you from your cash.
|You have a lot to answer for, sweetie|