Whitney Versus Oprah: Who Won Round 1?

Oprah said her interview with Whitney Houston was the greatest interview she's ever done, which means it's the best piece of television since television was invented. We know Oprah loves superlatives, but could it really be better than the tongue-lashing she gave to James Frey? C'mon! I've been waiting weeks for this moment. Will Whitney actually admit to smoking crack? Will she become America's sweetheart again? Or is she permanently cracked out? Here's what happened:

3:59 p.m.:
I'm actually excited. What is the matter with me?

4 p.m.: The wait is over. The Oprah show is on, and the interview is shot Barbara Walters style at Town Hall in New York. This is where Whitney realized she wanted to be a singer, as a little girl singing backup for her mother. Oprah is introducing WH─"diva, superstar, icon." All true, but why do I have this sinking feeling that this hour is going to be all about Oprah?

4:01 p.m.: Who knew Whitney was married to Bobby Brown for 14 years?

4:01 p.m.: Only 60 seconds in and already Oprah has brought up the infamous "crack is wack" interview with Diane Sawyer. But it's only in the prerecorded introduction. So is Oprah going to go easy on WH?

4:02 p.m.:
Whitney sings a line from the song "Tomorrow." Her voice is raspy, but damn, she can still bring it.

4:02 p.m.:
Oprah is talking about herself again─she said that she had the same hairstyle as Whitney when they were both young─and now she's flashing a vintage Oprah photo to prove it.

4:03 p.m.: Oprah brags that she was one of the first to refer to WH as "The Voice." Houston responds with, "Way overwhelming title." Oprah doesn't seem to notice that Whitney isn't all that thrilled by being called "The Voice." When WH talks about how the fame got to be too much, Oprah continues to refer to her as "The Voice." As well as America's first black princess, a national treasure, and a gift to the world. Is O trying to put WH back into rehab?

4:09 p.m.: Here comes the good stuff. They're dishing about Bobby. WH talks a lot about how they "were crazy love." She's half right.

4:11 p.m.: I love that Whitney refuses to play into Oprah's framing of her life. O wants her to say that marrying Bobby was a rebellion and WH keeps saying it was love.

4:12 p.m.: Uh-oh: O is talking about the Diane Sawyer interview. She asks WH if she even remembered it. As if anyone could forget.

4:16 p.m.: Whitney can't get a word in edgewise. Oprah is talking, talking, talking about how Whitney must have felt about being married to a man jealous of her fame. Maybe she should try asking WH a question. Or maybe Oprah is having relationship issues of her own? Poor Stedman.

4:17 p.m.: No one should try that note in "I Will Always Love You," especially not Oprah.

4:18 p.m.:
OK, it is kind of shocking that Whitney made everybody call her Mrs. Brown so that Bobby wouldn't get upset.

4:20 p.m.: Why does O keep interrupting? I want to hear Whitney say more than "yup" and "sure did."

4:20 p.m.:
Funniest line of the interview: "Glad I signed that prenuptial, though," Whitney says. At least Whitney can laugh about Being Bobby Brown.

4:25 p.m.: Commercial break: I really need Oprah to let Whitney talk!

4:26 p.m.:
Now we're getting juicier. WH says the drugs started before The Bodyguard. Cocaine, marijuana, but no booze. Bobby was a mean drunk and Whitney lost her will to fight back. Whitney says Bobby abused her emotionally but not physically. "I was raised with two boys and I'll fight you back. He slapped me once but I hit him over the head three times."

4:29 p.m.: The meanest thing Bobby ever did was spit on Whitney Houston. Can you believe that? Who spits on Whitney Houston? Now I suddenly feel bad for even watching this

4:37 p.m.: Then he slapped Whitney and he was on probation. Fascinating how much Whitney knows about probation.

4:38 p.m.: Oprah seems shocked that WH took her marriage seriously. Whitney quotes the Bible. "Whom God has joined together, let no man put asunder."

4:43 p.m.:
Has Oprah never heard of drugs? WH is explaining weed and base (rock cocaine) to her.

4:45 p.m.: "I had so much money and so much access to what I wanted. I didn't think about the singing part anymore. I was looking for my young womanhood."

4:46 p.m.: Best quote of the interview so far: "I didn't even know what 'icon' meant at the time I became one."

4:50 p.m.: Almost as good; "He was my drug. We were partners."

4:52 p.m.: When Whitney knew it was over: "He started painting evil eyes and faces all over the walls, floors, and closets." Duh.

4:55 p.m.: Whitney's mom had to come and get her. Can you imagine? She had a court order and sheriffs, and she dragged WH to rehab. That's one intervention I would have loved to see on A&E. Apparently Whitney's mom said, "I'm not losing you to Satan." What do you say to that?

5 p.m.:
It's over and it was just getting interesting. Oprah blabbed too much, but Whitney still managed to steal the show. We'll have to tune in for part two tomorrow.