Chemistry is a fragile thing at the judges' table of any talent competition series -- just ask the producers of 'American Idol,' where ratings have been in decline for years -- so it seems likely that there was some nervousness behind the scenes of 'The Voice,' when Usher and Shakira plunked down in the big red chairs recently vacated by Cee Lo and Christina Aguilera.

All's well that ends well, however, and the current season of 'The Voice' finds the show doing better than ever -- due in no small part to the chemistry between Usher and Shakira, who recently chatted with the New York Daily News about life on the set of one of TV's hottest shows.

"I really don’t know what to expect, since it’s my first time, but that’s the beautiful part," Usher recalled. "I don’t come to the set concerned. I never dread going to work. Sometimes the days go long, but it’s still worth it. You’re laughing until the last moment."

For Shakira, the 'Voice' gig came with a little more trepidation. "I first said no to NBC because I was pregnant and they told me I had to stay in Los Angeles for six months,” she admitted. “I said, ‘There’s no way. I want to still have my boyfriend when it’s all over.’"

But if neither of them knew what to expect, they both understand they're part of something successful. "This show has by far the greatest mixture of people you’ll ever see together on one stage," Usher boasted, adding, "This is the type of shared moment and beautiful diversity that every show wants. And we’re all just so comfortable with it."

That comfort extends to their one-on-one relationship, too. "I just feel like hugging him all the time," Shakira said of Usher, prompting him to quip, "I agree. I always want to let her."

Watch the Usher 'DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love' Video