Marc Anthony & Jennifer Lopez Come Together for ¡Q'Viva! The Chosen
01/29/2012 AT 09:50 AM EST
"The only thing that could," Marc says, "talent."
The show, which premiered Saturday on Univision, takes the former couple across Latin America in search of the best dancers, singers, musicians and street performers.
The most talented acts they discover are invited to Los Angeles, where they'll perform for judges – Lopez, Anthony and concert director-to-the-stars Jamie King – in hopes of being selected to be a part of a live Las Vegas showcase of Latino talent.
"We're just meant to be in each other's lives on different levels," Anthony, 43, says of working with his ex. "This is a long story, it's not a short story. ... Marriage was just one chapter ... And kids are another. We've got each other for life."
Lopez, who speaks Spanish throughout the show, described what traveling around Latin American meant for her: "It's not just to find talent," she says. "I knew when I started this trip it from the beginning that it was going to be something special for me. Now I have kids. It's important to know more about yourself to be able to teach them more."
In Brazil, Lopez picked up a group of capoeira dancers because they represented, "not just the music but also the soul of the people the story of our culture, of our people," she said. "That's important to show the world."
Outside Buenos Aires, a group of malambo dancers gave her "goosies."
"I'm very impressed with this group," she said of the gaucho style of tap dancing that only men perform and dates back to 1600. "This will show the world what Latin music is, what Latin rhythm is, what Latin passion is."
She also found a pair of tango dancers in the country.
"They had the passion, the technique. They had the sensuality and it was very, very sexy, too," she said of their sultry performance. "When I'm in the audience if I want to be up there with them doing that ... when something inspires me like that I know it's something special."
Anthony picked an flashy and acrobatic dance troupe in Colombia, singers in Puerto Rico, a brother and sister team of quebradita dancers in Mexico City and a fire juggler in Guatemala, who broke down in tears when he found out he was going to Los Angeles to compete.
"Now all the pain is worth it – every one of the accidents, every one of the burns," he said. "I put my heart in this."
Together in Puerto Rico, Lopez and Anthony joked about being like "Sonny and Cher after the divorce" and filming El Cantante together there. "Bad memories," Lopez teased.
"That's terrible to say," said Anthony, who later added, "We've always been like this even when we were together. Busting each other's chops."