Why Leo Is the Bachelorette Contestant You Need to Pay Attention To
Welcome back to Bachelor season: As the rest of us consciously uncuff for summer, at least one soul among us decides that now is the time to find love with a bunch of strangers. This year, it’s Becca “Do the Damn Thing” Kufrin, whom we know intimately from watching her ex-fiancé, former Bachelor Arie Ludkeyk Jr., break up with her on national television to pursue his runner up, Lauren Burnham. (Gross.) So who exactly are the 28 men vying for Becca Kufrin’s heart—or who were before they entered into the Bachelor Mansion and became household names-in-training? Each week this season I’ll conduct a full-on social media investigation into one man vying for Becca’s love. And to begin with, I want you to pay very close attention to Leo—full name Leandro Dottavio—not least because the long-haired, Fabio-reminiscent 31-year-old manages to get sorta dissed by Becca in tonight’s premiere.
Leo is a stuntman and actor with IMDb credits that date back to 2011, like “Paleo guy” in SMILF and “Kai supporter” in American Horror Story: Cult. His line of work obviously makes me wonder whether he’s vying for Becca’s heart for the “right reasons” or the Instagram reasons. But fame is a new advent for him.
A mama’s boy, former baseball player, childhood poet, and messy bun advocate, Leo boasts 26K Instagram followers and a bio that would make me simultaneously swipe right, screenshot his Hinge profile to send to my girls to make fun of him, and pray that one day I’ll be lucky enough to brush his hair. It reads, “Leandro Dottavio LA, Studio City. Waterworld show at Universal Studios. 6'4". 230 lbs. Love my Mom. :)” That smiley face may be a cyber crime, but the rest nearly broke my finger as I smashed that follow button so hard I should have needed a screen replacement. Now, where was I? Oh, yes. That hair.
It’s the first thing Becca takes note of—and not necessarily in a good way. “You have hair like my sister!” she says in one of the show’s first promos. And, not to be shady, but I don’t think she meant it as a compliment. He’s been growing out those Tarzan locks since 2013, when he announced on Instagram that he was trying a new look. He obviously hasn’t stopped its growth and looks like a far cry from the floppy-haired actor he was during the Obama Administration.
In my Leo Studies, I’ve found that the man loves hashtags and calling out his celebrity dopplegangers. In 2013, Leo posted a photo of Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, requesting that his many fans puh-lease stop comparing the two, using hashtags alone. “#me #gaston #tiredofthecomparisons #idonthavealafou #goodjawline #goodhair #nafcissism #whatcanisay!?” (I assume he was trying to get at “narcissism,” but you never know.) The habit continues: In 2016, Leo named Jason Momoa another doppelganger. He seemed more pleased with that comparison. But look at Leo’s continued hashtags usage and it becomes evident that his self-comparisons are rooted in something deeper than just nafcissism. Leo used Jason Momoa as a thirst trap, writing, “#ihavemoregamecauseheismarried #heismarried #imnotmarried.” This emotional unraveling in an Instagram caption suggests that perhaps Leo has been looking for love longer than I expected—and maybe he really is hoping that The Bachelorette will bring him true love.
Unfortunately for Leo—SPOILER ALERT—it won’t, and that we can already tell from Leo’s Twitter, @BigDott, which may as well belong to your deceased great grandparent because, at the time of writing this, he only has 24 followers and four tweets. One tweet, “I love life,” is from 2014, and the other three are from April and May of this year. Which is peculiar because Becca’s season didn’t wrap filming until May 10, 2018. As I’m sure you know, Internet access, especially social media access, is strictly prohibited during the filming of any Bachelor franchise show. Leo posted his comeback tweet on April 19 and also re-posted a video on his personal Facebook page, a pattern tells me that Leo does not make it to the end and is therefore not engaged to Becca.
After those few back-to-reality posts, Leo’s Twitter, Instagram, and the public posts on his Facebook go dark from late April to May 11, the day after filming wrapped, which makes me suspect that Bachelorette production got wind of his comms post-elimination and put him on a social media freeze. That must have been hard, because in the hours I’ve spent with Leo’s online presence, I can tell that he loves to post picture of his hair and muscles.
That aside, Leo’s ghost town of a Twitter seems to confirm that he’s a highly visual person and may be more comfortable being looked at than listened to. Either pithy one liners are less his jam than filtered headshots; he forgot his password for six years; or after the filming, he deleted all old and incriminating tweets and will be back in the tweeting game just in time for tonight’s premiere, which is also a distinct possibility.
But Leo is an active and thriving Instagram user with great #ad potential. He’s come such a long way on the photo app since 2012, when a young Leo loved an edgy filter and super tight shots with no artistic value whatsoever (“Live in a suit baby,” he captioned his first ever). Now, he knows his angles, owns his hair, and has mastered the soft, sensitive, romantic smize. He also no longer seems to own a lot of shirts.
Good luck in Paradise, Leo! You’re too hot not to go, so pack your bags! No shirts necessary, okay?
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly states that Becca and Leo share a kiss in episode one.