By Dalton Ross
Updated September 22, 2014 at 12:00 PM EDT

He’s already defended the casting of controversial baseball player John Rocker. And he told us why the show imported Amazing Race duo Nadiya and Natalie. Now, host Jeff Probst names his favorites going into Survivor: San Juan Del Sur — Blood vs. Water. Of course, whether these people will be his favorites when all is said and done is anyone’s guess. Several people that Probst thought in the past would be stars on the show turned out to be total duds. Conversely, often people that didn’t really impress him all that much in casting ended up popping big time once cameras started rolling. So it’s an inexact science to be sure.

However, it’s always fun to see who has caught Jeff’s eye out of the gate, so we caught up with Jeff right after the gates had been opened. Just hours after Probst sent the contestants off to their beaches, he sat down on yet another beach with EW to tell us whom he was liking so far. To see which pairs he was keen on, just click on the video player below. And for more Survivor scoop, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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