Spoiler alert: Big twist at end of Sunday's Big Give sends all three contestants to final round

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obg.jpg After seven weeks on the road, the remaining three contestants on Oprah's Big Give zipped to our town -- Chicago -- for their next challenge.

Shooting the opening scenes in the city's beautiful Grant Park, Oprah unveiled Cameron, Stephen and Brandi's newest challenge: they'd have to go home and give big.

For the first time in months, the remaining three would be reunited with their families -- and to make a difference in their community.

Three contestants. Four days. Each with $10,000.

TRAV.jpg In the end, the contest would end with a big twist -- not as big as the final $1 million giveaway from Oprah will cause -- but enough to make you tune in to see what happens next week.

Unable to make a decision as to who was the biggest giver, the show's judges didn't' send anyone home (Oprah pal John Travolta delivered the new after making a cameo appearance on the show) -- and all three contestants moved on to the final round.

Here's how it all played out:

Just minutes into the opening scenes, the trio was whisked off in an over-the-top departure in a helicopter flown by Nate Berkus (maybe he wasn't the one who actually was flying the copter, but is there anything dear Nate doesn't do?).

So how'd their homecomings and Big Gives go?

Brandi
She hit the ground running when she got back to her hometown of Sierra Vista -- focusing not on just one family, but trying to spread the money she was given among several families, including one with five autistic children. Her big give in the end was to a young girl named Aly Nelson, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

"The worst part of being sick is having to lie in bed, you can't go anywhere," the young girl said.

Being a former Miss Sierra Vista herself -- Brandi arranged for Aly to get the royal treatment for a day, parade and all.

The tissue factor: 3 out of 10. A great wish granted which brought a smile to a girl who definitely deserved it, but not the best give of the night.

Stephen
He says he strugged going home -- finding it hard to balance being with his family and dedicating time to giving big. With the help of his wife and other members of his community, he not only raised a year's worth of groceries for a women's shelter, but $43,000 in total. (Wow.)

The tissue factor: 6 out of 10. Stephen raised a lot of money for the shelter, but in the end dedicated a bouquet of flowers to his wife, calling her the biggest giver in her eyes. (Definitely an "aww" moment on the show.)

Cameron
Cameron was the biggest winner Sunday night, whose big give was reminiscent of a Ty Pennington "Extreme Home Makeover" moment. (I cried, I'll admit it).

He didn't raise the most money, but I thought his give was the best, having a significant impact on the life of Skylar Corvin.

Suffering from a playground injury, Skylar and her family found out she was suffering from bone cancer.

With hundreds of people gathered, Cameron presented Skylar with a new laptop -- and a newly designed Web site -- so she could have a diary to chronicle her life. The upbeat Skylar also saw her room -- and her family's living room -- decked out in brand new furniture.

That wasn't all.

The family was also given a brand new 2007 Ford Fusion (with a little help from Cameron's dad) and the whole check for $10,000 he was originally given).

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2 Comments

How can I get in touch with Skylar's (from Oprah's big give) family?
I'd like to raise funds for her and her family.

Great review, I'm a huge Big Give fan and am actually from Roanoke! I was there at the presentation and I was one of the smaller, much smaller, donors for Skylar. The total amount Cameron presented was over $75k FYI. There was so much this community was able to do that wasn't shown. So GO CAMERON!! We're all rooting for you!!! And shame on Jamie for saying it took too long, what is he talking about! As far as the others, Brandi was creative with her miss america day - might not have raised money and she could have done more, but she was creative and didn't have rich friends to just call. Also her website was www.skylarsvoice.com

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Bieganski published on April 14, 2008 9:48 AM.

First. Dr. Phil, now Dr. Oz: Oprah medical genius may get his own show was the previous entry in this blog.

Up close and personal: Oprah show to go hi-definition come fall is the next entry in this blog.

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