Mark Bieganski: April 2008 Archives

Blaine's video blog from the "Oprah" show

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The stunt:

Note: There is no audio with this clip

He spent 44 days suspended from a glass box by the River Thames in London. He was buried alive for a week in a see-through coffin in New York City. Now, he's held his breath longer than anyone underwater.

Magician David Blaine's latest feat of endurance was to break the current world record of holding one's breath underwater live in front of Oprah's studio audience.

Blaine held his breath underwater for 17 minutes and 4 seconds -- beating the current world record of 16 minutes and 32 seconds, a record set Feb. 10 by Switzerland's Peter Colat, according to Guinness World Records.

Toward the end, Blaine thought he wouldn't have been able to make it -- but he held strong, garnering his first record to be in the Guinness Book of World Records.

"I feel slightly emotional. I feel good about it, I feel happy," Blaine said. "It's a life-long dream, and I can't believe I did that."

Blaine says he was uncertain whether he would make it or not, fighting hard to stay underwater.

Blaine says his goal was to stay underwater for 23 minutes -- for his mother's birthday.

Oprah pressed Blaine on what his next challenge would be: Trying to stay awake longer than anyone ever has -- for 11 days straight.

Blaine just broke the world record for holding his breath underwater at 17 minutes and 4 seconds.

Is he in a lot of pain?

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Officials say Blaine's diaphragm is in is in a lot of pain right now.

"And so is mine," Oprah says.

Blaine's one minute away from breaking the world record.

Medical officials say they expected Blaine's heartbeat to be lower than it is now -- meaning it will be hard for him to stay underwater.

"Is it painful holding your breath?" Oprah asked Blaine before the stunt.

Blaine says he fights the hardest during the last six minutes, and one wrong move and cause the stunt to fail.

How does he do it?

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Blaine's been holding his breath under water for eight minutes: As soon as his body senses his oxygen has been cut off, the body goes into "survival mode" -- sending oxygen to vital organs including the heart and brain, Oprah said.

As long as blood continues to circulate throughout his body, Blaine can survive.

Blaine begins holding breath under water

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Blaine just started "lung packing" -- swallowing air to increase his lung size and hold more air.

Officials say the stunt is dangerous -- and can cause damage to the heart and lungs.

Surely Dr. Oz say wouldn't think this is a good idea.


Oprah: Do you have some kind of death wish?

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"No," Blaine told Oprah in an interview before today's stunt. He calls it more of a life wish.

According to experts, the lower David's heartbeat, the easier it'll be for him to hold his breath under water.

The high price of a death-defying stunt

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Five minutes to go: Blaine's 20,000 tank -- which cost $200,000 to make -- was trekked all the way from New York and is made of acrylic to prevent it from breaking.

Oprah's stage had to be reinforced to hold the sphere.

Less than ten minutes before stunt begins: The average human heart beats an average of about 60-80 beats per minute. Blaine's going to stay underwater until it becomes dangerous -- or until his heart lowers to 10 beats a second.

We're nervous for Blaine are you?

To break the record

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Four months ago, Blaine started training for the stunt -- eating just enough to keep his energy up but not enough to gain weight. He runs five days a week and has lost 40 pounds.

According to Oprah, Blaine trained in the Cayman Islands with skilled divers to attempt to hold his breath under his water.

So far, he's been able to stay under water for about 14 minutes leading up to today's stunt.

Don't try this at home

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15-minute countdown: >One would wonder why someone would want to hold their breath under water for that long. I think I tried it as a kid once, and lasted 30 seconds. More power to you, David.

Blaine's suspended in a 20,000 pound sphere filled with water in Oprah's studio -- "testing the limits of the human body" as Oprah says.

Minutes to Blaine's death-defying stunt

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23-minute countdown: In about 19 minutes -- Blaine will risk his life by holding his breath under water. Beforehand, Blaine has to breath pure oxygen for 23 minutes before attempting the death defying stunt.

Steadman makes rare appearance on 'Oprah show"

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For the first time since Oprah's 50th birthday bash, the talk show host's long-time partner is in the audience today to witness spectacle David Blaine try and break a world record for holding his breath underwater.

The current record stands a little over 16 minutes -- and Blaine will try and break that record in front of a live studio audience in Chicago.

He spent 44 days suspended from a glass box by the River Thames in London. He was buried alive for a week in a see-through coffin in New York City.

Magician David Blaine's latest feat of endurance likely will last less than 17 minutes, but he's planning to do it in front of talk show queen Oprah Winfrey -- and her audience of millions.

Blaine will try to break the world record for breath-holding during this morning's live broadcast of ''The Oprah Winfrey Show,'' less than two years after going into convulsions during a similar attempt.

The time he has to beat is 16 minutes and 32 seconds, a record set Feb. 10 by Switzerland's Peter Colat, according to Guinness World Records. AP

Oprah and Tom Cruise: Together again

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After years of gossip speculation about their on again/off again friendship, Tommy and Oprah are back together again.

Oprah taped a one-on-one with Cruise at his home in Telluride, Colo., on Friday for a show schedule to air in the next week. Cruise is slated to join Winfrey in her studio as well to mark the 25-year anniversary of his breakout performance in "Risky Business."

Couch jumping here he comes.

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It's truly an Oprah world, and we're lucky to be living in it, the NYPost said today about the longtime daytime talk show host.

The newspaper came out with its list of the 35 best television shows of all time, ranking "The Oprah Winfrey Show" number three.

"No one has mastered the genre like Oprah Winfrey, who has turned TV into her temple," the Post said. " Winfrey is a goddess to American women, a humanitarian who never runs out of ways to make the world a better place and the most influential media personality in America."

The newspaper cited Winfrey's success of commanding a talk show, book club, magazine, satellite radio and highly anticipated launch of the Oprah Winfrey Network with Discovery as playing a role into her huge fan following.

Popular HBO hit "The Sopranos" topped the list, with CBS's "All in the Family" coming in second.

First: "The Sopranos"
Second: "All in the Family"
Third: "The Oprah Winfrey Show"
Fourth: "American Idol"
Fifth: "The West Wing"
Sixth: "Mary Tyler Moore"
Seventh: "Dallas"
Eighth: "24"
Ninth: "Twin Peaks"
Tenth: "Sesame Street"


Proud Mary's back: Turner set to tour again

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If you've still got it at 68, you might as well still flaunt it. Tina Turner revealed this week during a taping of the Oprah show she's going back on tour again.

Turner -- one of the most popular selling singers of all time -- said pal Sophia Loren convinced her to go back on tour, asking when she's going to get "back to work."

Proud Tina -- who hasn't toured for eight years -- is kicking off her yet-to-be-named tour Oct. 1 in Kansas City. Sources claim Turner has sold more concert tickets than any other solo performer ever -- her last tour being attended by over four million proud listeners.

Turner's taping with Oprah and special guest Cher is slated to air May 8.

You go Tina!

Tom Cruise headed back to Oprah

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The last time we saw Tom Cruise on Oprah, he was jumping up and down on her couch like a kid on a sugar high. (Come on Tom, didn't someone teach you proper manners?).

Let's hope after three years, Tommy's a little more behaved.

The actor -- married to Katie Holmes and the proud papa of picture-perfect Suri Cruise -- is making a return to Oprah's daytime show, MSNBC reports.

The timing comes as Cruise celebrates the 25th anniversary of his role in "Risky Business." Warner Home Video has confirmed special plans for the anniversary, and other celebs have been recruited to join Cruise during his hour on Oprah.

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Four years after their last appearance on Oprah's highly-rated daytime talk show, the gals of "Sex and the City" -- including Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis -- are slated to appear on the show again next month to promote their new movie.

The girls reunite in the movie -- out May 30 -- for the first time on screen since the popular HBO television series went off air in 2004. Despite public filming across New York City, the plot of the movie has been heavily kept secret, with several scenes allegedly filmed to throw fans off.

Chicago favorite Jennifer Hudson takes on a new role in the movie, playing the glamorous Carrie Bradshaw's personal assistant.

Talks are already underway for a sequel to the highly-anticipated movie.

On Tuesday, Perez Hilton reported that pop diva Fergie has recorded the title song to the new movie: listen here.

You, too, can have your own Oprah burial mask

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A burial mask -- paying tribute to inner beauty and Oprah Winfrey -- is making its Chicago debut this weekend during Artropolis at the Merchandise Mart.

The mask is selling on eBay for a starting bid of $255.

“The Oprah Burial Mask depicts for the viewer a celebration of an inner beauty for which we could all aspire,” says David Kesting -- director of NYC’s Leo Kesting Gallery -- on the life-sized hollowed bust. “If we each imagined an object that represented us at our most ideal for all eternity, we might hold ourselves to the highest standards, both morally and spiritually.”

“Standing before the burial mask of King Tut’s great-grandmother when it was displayed in Philadelphia, I finally understood how the creation of an object could be the act of preparing for a better place. It inspired me to create such an object.”

Oprah school ex-matron back in court

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The trial of a former matron at the Oprah's Leadership Academy in South Africa has been postponed.

Tiny Makopo was charged with indecent assault, common assault, soliciting a minor to perform indecent acts and verbal abuse after several girls from the school came forward last October.

Makopo is slated to appear again in court on Friday, the Times reported.

Six of the girls and a 23-year-old dormitory matron were believed to have been the victims, according to the newspaper.

The story made headlines across the globe months ago, and Oprah quickly responded after the hearing news about the accused assault.

There were no losers Sunday on the final episode of ABC's "Oprah's Big Give." In a surprise ending even viewers didn't expect, everyone went home a winner.

Stephen Paletta, a 42-year-old contractor, took home the top prize of $1 million, keeping $500,000 and receiving another $500,000 to keep giving back to the community.

"I'm in shock," Paletta said. "It was such an incredible honor and privilege to be part of this show and to be chosen as the biggest giver with all these wonderful people."

Today's episode of the Oprah show -- at 9 a.m. and 11:05 p.m. on ABC in Chicago -- will have a complete wrap-up of the "Big Give" challenge.

Paletta and two other finalists helped raise more than $160,000 for the Chicago Hope Academy, a college prep school on the Near West Side. Chicago's Blue Man Group donated $100,000 of the money raised.

All seven of the show's eliminated contestants -- including Chicagoan Marlene Snipes -- returned for the final episode and took home $30,000 each.

After eight weeks of intense strategy and competition, one person is going to go home with $1 million -- $500,00 to give back, and $500,000 to take home -- and they didn't even know it.

But that's not all, the two running up contestants will get $100,000 to do with what they want.

In a quick ending to a the two-month series, episode front-runner Stephen just took home the top prize and was joined onstage by his family.

In her final thoughts, Oprah challenged everyone to try and give big in their own way and to continue following a cause dear to her heart.

Want to hear more from tonight's winners? They'll appear on tomorrow's episode of the Oprah Winfrey show, but in case you miss it, check here for a complete "Big Give" wrap up tomorrow.

They took on the challege of giving big, and getting nothing back. Now, the three remaining contestants are about to get a BIG surprise: the winner of the competition wins $1 million.

All of the seven eliminated candidates candidates from the show have returned to the stage for the final show, and for a big surprise.

Oprah friend and ever-so-poised Jennifer Aniston reveals to contestants the surprise ending to their eight-week journey ... they're all getting $30,000 for being on the show.

"It's such an amazing, fantastic thing," Aniston said. "Especially at a time right now where we could use something like this."

Oprah: In my mind, you all won weeks ago

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With mjust minutes before the winner of the "Big Give" is announced, Oprah and the judges drop in for the final critique of the contestants.

What have they learned?

Stephen thinks it isn't just about big giving, it's about big hearts. While Cameron says life gives to givers, and takes from the takers.

Up next: Jennifer Aniston with a "Big Give" surprise.

The big -- and little -- reveals

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It's time for the big reveal, but where are Brandi and Cameron?

The show's begun without the duo, who left Stephen to try and raise money for another cause.

As the show judges watch on, Blue Man Group donates $50,000 to the school and another $50,000 to the school's music and arts program.

Not really the most exciting revel we've seen this season, but the team (mainly Stephen) raised a significant amont of money in just two days.

With the Chicago Hope challenge behind them, the team banded together again to help the kids at Shriner's.

The executive chef of Rosebud not only showed up for a free cooking class for the kids, but agreed to keep doing it.

In the judges eyes, it's a gift that keeps on giving.

But who's the front runner? Stephen seems like the only one not bitter about the final challenge, other than that the disjunciton among the group inhibited doing more.

With only 24 hours left, what would you do?

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So far, Cameron's raised the money and performance from Blue Man Group. Stephen's raised a free lunch from Potbelly for students. But what about Brandi?

"The guys ideas suck," Brandi says, deviating away from the group and deciding to take on her own challenge.

Next thing you know, Cameon joins her (but for good?), leaving Stephen, who carries on and raises another $60,000 for the school.

Brandi's idea: To raise money for Shriner's Children's Hospital in Chicago -- providing free medical treatment for kids.

But look out, giver-turned-Diva Brandi has secured the top chef of Rosebud in Chicago to perform a cooking class for the kids at Shriner's.

Taping of the show moves to Blue Man's Briar Street Theater (which ironically I used to live next door to up until two months ago. How would that have been for a bird's eye view?)

Claws come our during final challenge

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With two and a half days left, no budget and no direction, the three candidates set out to make a difference.

The trio's last challenge will force them to work as a team, but to be judged individually.

At first, the team rallies behind Stephen's idea to raise money for the Chicago Hope Academy, but then Cameron and Brandi draw back from the idea.

Blue Man Group have agreed to a private performance for the kids of the Chicago Hope Academy -- as well as donating $100,000 to the cause of raising a new athletic field for the school

Brandi and Cameron have clearly formed an alliance in the last episode of the "Big Give." Who knew giving could be so cut throat?

Judges for Oprah's "Big Give" stunned the audience, contestants and even Oprah herself last

week, not eliminating a contestant and sending three people into the final round of

competition.

This week, Cameron, Brandi and Stephen face their biggest challenge ever: with no money,

they'll have to come up with a to give big. And what they don't know is the biggest giver

will become the biggest winner, winning a $1 million cash prize from Oprah herself.

The catch, none of the contestants knew about the $1 million prize when they signed up, and they won't find out until the end of tonight's episode.

The three remaining contestants joined Oprah in Chicago's Union Station in the opening segment of the show.

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And then there were three. Cameron, Brandy or Stephen will be one of the lucky three who'll go home tonight with an unexpected $1 million prize on the finale of ABC's "Oprah's Big Give." Who's it going to be? Jennifer Aniston, Blue Man Group and other surprise guest make appearances on the final show of Oprah's primetime show. Blog with us starting at 7 p.m. as the countown to finding out who the biggest giver begins.

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She's back, thinner and hotter than ever.

A day before her second comeback album hit store shelves (read Sun-Times pop music critic Jim DeRogatis' review here) and the Internet, Mariah Carey shared girl talk with Oprah during Monday's show. Click here for pics and more video >>

Strutting onto the stage with sexy, slimmer look, the pop diva shared her secrets on how to get in shape: a diet consisting of a lot of artichoke and quality time in the gym.

Mimi told the audience she spends up to an hour and a half each day working out and what she misses most by living healthier: eating macaroni and cheese.

Touch My Body, the new single off her album E=MC², recently hit the top spot on the Billboard charts, edging her past Elvis with the most number one hits by a solo artist.

Mariah also let cameras go where they've never been before: inside her lingerie closet:

Critics have given her new CD mixed reviews, but Mimi's back, and spicier than ever. Watch for her to appear on Wednesday's American Idol to pimp out her new tunes.

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Oprah hugs long-time pal John Travolta during Sunday's episode of the "Big Give" on ABC.

Viewers are gonna be able to get a little more up close and personal with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey.

Harpo president Tim bennett -- citing recent partnerships with Internet calling phenom Skype -- announced Monday that Oprah's top-rated daytime show will go hi-definition come fall.

“We’re pleased to offer viewers their favorite daytime talk show -- the Oprah show -- in stunning HD beginning this fall,” Harpo president Tim Bennett said in a statement to Broadcasting & Cable. “From our cutting-edge production values to our recent partnership with Skype, Harpo is embracing new technologies to always deliver the highest-quality content for our viewers.”

Oprah's previous specials -- Building a Dream: The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy and The Oprah Winfrey Oscar Special -- were produced in HD.

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Click here to watch Sunday's episode

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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Oprah Winfrey -- who helped launch Dr. Phil into a household name and huge success -- is hoping to have the same kind of luck with medical genius Dr. Mehmet Oz -- a frequent on her daily talk show.

Oprah's Harpo productions is in talks to give the now-famous doc his own talk show, which would launch in fall 2009.

Oz's show would be the third attempt at branding a household television show -- she had huge success with both Dr. Phil and Rachel Ray, whose shows are distributed by CBS, according to Broadcasting and Cable which broke the story.

Last month Oz hosted an entire episode of Oprah's show himself, and he's made appearances on her popular XM Satellite Radio.

According to Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker, Oprah's show on puppy mills has gotten a huge response. One viewer apparently donated the cost of 100 surgeries to PETA's spay/neuter program after seeing the show.

Oprah dedicated the show to her dog Sophie, who died last month. >

Photo linked from Oprah.com

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Weeks ago actress and "30 Rock" star Tina Fey's big wish was to be best friends with Oprah -- on her TV show that is.

Now, Fey just might get her wish.

In a taping this week promoting her new movie "Baby Mama" with SNL fave Amy Poehler, Fey and Oprah talked about the talk show queen making an appearance on the hit NBC show, as reported by E! Online.

According to members of the live audience, the two talked about a role on Fey's show.

When Oprah asked Fey whether she wanted to be her best friend in real life or on TV, Fey responded, "both!"

Oprah went on to tell Fey she's definitely interested in appearing and to have "your people call my people."

I think I need to get "people." But, we're excited about the possibility of seeing "O" on Fey's show.

Will Oprah save doomed St. Francis hospital?

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Residents of Blue Island are calling on Oprah to help save the town's doomed St. Francis Hospital.

Blue Island is calling upon the power of O.

As reported today in the SouthtownStar, the mayor of Blue Island is starting a campaign calling for residents to reach out to Oprah for help in saving the hospital.

The mayor is asking residents to e-mail Winfrey via her Web site or call her studio to ask for help.

Flyers circulating in the town are urging residents to contact the talk show queen, asking her use her "magic" on the town's behalf.

"Ask her to use her influence with our political leaders to keep the certificate of need intact for a potential sale!" a flier circulating around town reads.

Peloquin told the SouthtownStar getting Winfrey involved in the fight to keep a hospital in Blue Island are a long shot.

"We are knocking on every door that we can," Peloquin said. "We are getting all kinds of advice from everyone. We are using it all."

Winfrey's net worth is estimated to be $1.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Calls to Winfrey's Harpo Studios in Chicago were not returned for comment.

SSM Health Care of St. Louis announced April 2 that St. Francis will close in a matter of months because large numbers of uninsured patients are draining the hospital financially.

Contributing: Guy Tridgell

Thomas Beatie is just as excited as any future dad would be. Except this isn't your everyday miracle-making story: He's the one giving birth.

On "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Thursday, the 34-year-old transgender male from Oregon talked about being the world's first "pregnant man."

Wife Nancy -- who has two daughters from a previous marriage -- was unable to have any more children after suffering complications from a medical condition.

The couple say they've gotten mixed reaction from family members and neighbors.

Beatie was born and lived the life of a female for 24 years. It wasn't until after college that he embarked on his "true identity." Beatie took testosterone and had his breasts removed but kept his reproductive organs -- hoping one day to conceive a child.

He was artificially inseminated in 2007 but lost the baby. Beatie has carried this baby 24 weeks.

"Love makes a family" Beatie said. "And that's all that matters."

Mark Bieganski

Thomas and Nancy just shared their story about how Thomas, born a female but not legally a man, is having a baby.

What do you think? Is it OK for a man to have a baby? Are people who don't accept their choice wrong in their thinking? Tell us what you think and share your thoughts.

We just want to have the baby now: Nancy

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"If we have to, we'll hide," Nancy says when asked about how they'll handle the public eye focusing on them since the announcement that Thomas is pregnant.

"I can't imagine 50 years from now -- however people to choose to live -- with harmony," Oprah says. "I don't think people will be judging it ... and I applaud you."

Thomas and Nancy's life in photos

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You know how neighbors can be: Oprah talks with the pregnant man about what his neighbors thought of his pregnancy.

Oprah's cameras have gone inside Thomas and Nancy's nursery -- decorated with yellow walls and full of clothes, toys and baby furniture.

"Our roles are going to stay consistent," Nancy says. "He's going to be the father, and I'm going to be the mother."

Thomas and Nancy's neighbors
What was your first reaction: "It wasn't one of shock, it was surprise," his neighbor, Victoria, describes.

Thomas and Nancy told their two neighbors about his pregnancy, who says their were more surprised than anything.

"I thought they had a secret," his neighbor George describes. "We have a pretty close-knit community and neighbors seem to be understanding of the situation."

In describing to Oprah how they got pregnant, Nancy tells the audience how she inseminated Thomas at home herself.

"I went to the vet and I asked for a syringe and the gave us one," she says. "[Then] I got our container of sperm ... "

Nancy's daughters and how they responded to Thomas becoming a man
I think it was more of a relief to see that she got to be who she wanted to be, one of Nancy's daughters tells the audience.

"I'm a little scared for them," her daughter says about the world accepting Thomas' pregnancy, saying she looks to Thomas and Nancy as role models.

"In reality, our patients choose us," his doctor says, describing Thomas and his wife as a devoted couple.

His doctor decribed to Oprah how others never told her not to take on the case, but that people's normal perceptions would be challenged by the case.

Worried about her reputation?
Thomas' doctor tells Oprah she was never worried about her reputation, as Oprah ponders what kind of risks are associated with Thomas' pregnancy.

"This is a normal pregnancy," his doctor says. "I consider this an average pregnancy."

Thomas describes finding a doctor to treat his pregnancy very hard.

"Is there something really wrong with us?" Nancy says.

Nine doctors later -- Dr. Kimberly James took on Thomas and Nancy's pregnancy. At 24 weeks into the pregnancy, Oprah's cameras capture what'd normally be a routine ultrasound, except this time it's with a man.

"I can't believe that she's inside me," Thomas said. "It's so surreal."

Click here to watch Thomas and Nancy's visit to the doctor's office

"Getting dressed is becoming more and more challenging," Thomas says.

Thomas and Nancy's first pregnancy -- with him being pregnant -- resulted in an atopic pregnancy in which doctors say he may have been pregnant with multiple babies.

Thomas and his father
"My father, I think, wanted a son," he says of his father, but calls his son by his female name.

"He can't see me in that way," he says.

Becoming a man

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Thomas describes how he transformed into a man -- wearing men's clothes initially then making the decision to have his breasts altered.

"Since we're in the genital area, let's just get it over with and keep going," Oprah asks. "Let's get to the penis part."

Thomas reveals he opted not to do anything to his reproductive organs because he wanted to have a child one day.

"That's so interesting," Oprah says, expressing how Thomas had the feelings of being a man, yet wanting to give birth to a child.

After taking testosterone, Thomas describes how his clitoris got larger and began to form a small penis.

For the past two years, Thomas and Nancy have been trying to have a child.

"You heard me right, Thomas is a pregnant man," Oprah says.

So far, Thomas says no one in their community knows he's pregnant -- except medical doctors.

"I think that people will be shocked because no one's ever heard of a man giving birth before," Thomas says.

Going public
"I think the world is taking it all in," Oprah says hesitantly.

Exploring his life
"I realized I wanted to be free again," he says. "I didn't want to see the world as male or female."

Over the years, Thomas ended up taking testosterone to help him become more masculine.

When he met his wife, he was still Tracy, legally a woman.

"Sexuality is a completely different topic than how you feel as a gender," Thomas says. "When I woke up in the morning, I felt like a man."

Oprah's one-on-one with the pregnant man

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"Thomas is a pregnant man, and he is here."

In her exclusive interview with the "pregnant man", Thomas tells Oprah and America about his story as a 12-year-old girl whose mother died, leaving him with a female void in his life.

He describes his father as a traditional man, who wasn't around much as a child.

Thomas lived his early years as a woman -- being names Miss Teen Hawaii and having several boyfriends and secret admirers.

"I felt like that's what I had to do in society," he says. "When I was a teenager, I had an attraction to women. I wanted to be around them more."

Thomas describes his initial feelings toward women as non-sexual, which changed as the years went by.

"I went to college, and that's when I found myself," Thomas says as he describes his first relationship with a women in college.

Thomas and his wife Nancy own a beautiful home and a small business. They're also expecting their first child -- but there is a twist. Thomas is the one who is pregnant.

Oprah's exclusive with the pregnant man

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His story has been a water cooler topic for weeks. Now, the world's "pregnant man" goes one-on-one with Oprah on being a pregnant male.

Their first television interview starts now.



Photo courtesy Harpo


His story captured headlines across the country -- and the world for that matter -- just last week. Now, the pregnant man is letting Oprah's camera inside his life-changing story.

In exclusive interviews with Oprah and People magazine, Thomas Beatie, will tell all during Thursday's show -- on being 34, happily married, transgendered and being pregnant.

Visit back during and after the show -- broadcast at 9 a.m. in Chicago -- as we live blog Oprah's exclusive interview Thursday.

Beatie's story first broke in the latest issue of the "Advocate" -- an LGBT magazine -- in which he details the decision to carry a child in a first-person account.

What people are saying:
'Pregnant man' Thomas Beatie has ultrasound on Oprah show
David Letterman calls pregnant man “androgynous freak show"
Pregnant Transman to Appear on Oprah


Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is dedicating her Friday show investigating the cruelty of puppy mills to her late Cocker Spaniel, Sophie.

The Lisa Ling investigation uncovers the secret world of mills, and why it's important to find our where your dog is really coming from.

Winfrey released a statement saying the show is "for anybody anywhere who loves a dog, has ever loved a dog, or just cares about their basic right to humane treatment."

While Sophie was not a product of a puppy mill, and Winfrey's three current dogs were adopted from breeders, Winfrey says in the future she would look to adopt from an animal shelter.

"I would never, ever adopt another pet now without going to a shelter to do it. I am a changed woman after seeing this show," she said in a statement.

Months leading up to the show, a billboard off I-90/94 near Oprah's Harpo studios asked the talk show queen to look into the cruelty of animals at puppy mills.


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This page is a archive of recent entries written by Mark Bieganski in April 2008.

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