As comfortable on stage as on a Harley motorbike, Stephanie La Rochelle, 18, sang her heart out in CBC’s Over the Rainbow and won fans across Canada. Placing second in the nationwide competition, she’s best remembered for her fearless, in-your-face performances of “Cabaret” and “Buenos Aires,” as well as incredibly touching renditions of “Smile” and “Someone Like You.”
Since returning home to Ottawa, this self-described “quiet girl” has been hailed as a hometown hero by city council and made guest appearances throughout the capital region.
I recently met up with this talented young lady and asked about her love of motorbikes, performing, and future aspirations.
She was in Toronto to support Rainbow winner Danielle Wade in her opening night of The Wizard of Oz on stage. The former competitors – showing true Canadian spirit – really were, and are, good friends. In fact, Wade was hosting La Rochelle during her visit.
As for motorcycles, La Rochelle says she finds it extremely relaxing to ride in the backseat of a Harley with her dad. “We love to go cruising around a waterway near our home and sometimes I even fall asleep back there,” she laughs. The kind-hearted soul also admits to once stopping to help a turtle cross the road.
While she has a driver’s licence, she doesn’t yet have a motorcycle licence. “Maybe someday,” she ponders, “because I’d love to ride one of those three-wheeled motorbikes (Can-Am Spyder).”
Her choice for a dream car: “Anything that gets me around,” she shrugs.
Incidentally, dad Paul La Rochelle does occasionally take the passenger seat – on stage, that is. He sang alongside his daughter performing “The Prayer,” complete with Italian lyrics no less, in a Montréal music festival where the duo took first place in their category. Both also speak French, with Stephanie having taken French immersion throughout high school.
“My parents say I was singing before I started talking, and I’ve been performing since I was five,” says this endearing young lady. Past community theatre experience includes roles in Cinderella, The Sound of Music, and the lead in Anne of Green Gables.
She’s since acted in an upcoming CTV pilot called Satisfaction and now has an agent. Undeterred by 12-hour days during Rainbow, she maintains “I love the work and I love performing.”
Canada doesn’t have many homegrown heroes that ordinary folk can relate to, but the extreme hard work, dedication, and class shown by La Rochelle and the other girl-next-door finalists in Over the Rainbow won my respect and that of millions of viewers nationwide.
Ottawa has every right to be proud of Stephanie La Rochelle. Among the many fans who attend her public appearances are young girls and, perhaps more than anyone, young girls need positive role models. If she also happens to ride motorcycles – shattering another common negative stereotype – all the better.
Columns Everything you need to know about purchasing, maintaining and driving your car.
Become a member
Register now to access all features including:
- Save and ask friends to review vehicles
- Exclusive rebates & offers from local dealers
- Premium content, reviews and tools
All for free!
Already a member?
Registration 2 of 2
Welcome to Wheels!
As a final step we've sent a confirmation to your email address as a security measure. Please click the link in the email to complete your registration.
Terms of services
DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES AND LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, TORONTO STAR IS PROVIDING THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES ON AN "AS IS" AND â€œAS AVAILABLEâ€ BASIS AND MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, IN ANY CONNECTION WITH THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEB SITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. TORONTO STAR DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE FUNCTION OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THEIR CONTENTS WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED OR ERROR FREE, THAT DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED, OR THAT THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES OR THE SERVERS THAT MAKE IT AVAILABLE ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE, SHALL TORONTO STAR BE LIABLE FOR ANY LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF DATA, LOSS OF INCOME OR PROFIT, LOSS OF OR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, OR FOR ANY DAMAGES OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER (INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY COMPENSATORY, INCIDENTAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES), EVEN IF TORONTO STAR HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES OR LOSSES, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE OF THE TORONTO STAR WEBSITES, THEIR CONTENTS, OR ANY WEBSITE OR CONTENTS WITH WHICH IT IS LINKED. IN NO EVENT SHALL TORONTO STARâ€™S TOTAL LIABILITY FOR ALL DAMAGES, LOSSES, AND CAUSES OF ACTION, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, NEGLIGENCE), OR OTHERWISE, EXCEED THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU FOR ACCESSING THIS SITE.X