Wizards of Waverly Place

There's some pretty intense competition going on among the Wizards of Waverly Place cast as they begin shooting the final episode of the hit Disney Channel sitcom. Sure, there's that whole plot point about which Russo child will win the wizard competition and keep his or her powers. Just as fierce, though, is the battle over who gets to keep the comfy lounge chair in the wizards' lair.

"Everyone's fighting over that one," jokes Jake T. Austin, who plays Max, the youngest Russo sibling. Adds Jennifer Stone, who plays Harper, "[We're] in a war over that chair. I may have to kick a couple of people in the shin for it."

Maybe it is a really comfy chair. Or maybe the fight for furniture is just the cast's way of trying to hang on to a show that's become one of the most popular in Disney Channel history during its four seasons on the air. Meanwhile, star Selena Gomez is processing her feelings in a more direct way.

"It's very much affecting me," she sighs. "I've been quiet, keeping to myself, and everyone keeps asking me what's wrong. They keep saying to have fun, end on a high note."

Wizards is doing that. During its run, the series reached more than 182 million viewers in 169 countries in 32 different languages and won a 2009 Emmy for Outstanding Children's Program. And as the show winds down, creator Todd Greenwald has done all he can to keep the results of the wizard competition in tonight's finale a surprise for everyone.

That meant handing the final four script pages to the cast an hour before the last scenes were shot so that "when they were on stage, it was like watching it all unfold for the first time," he explains after production wraps. "It was definitely satisfying and the actors, who were playfully jockeying to see who would win the competition, didn't see [this ending] coming. I think the audience will be happy with how it turns out."

Now if he could only help them figure out who gets the lounge chair...

Wizards of Waverly Place airs Friday at 8/7c on Disney Channel.

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