My friend Claire (Sinclair, the 2011 Playboy Playmate of the Year) was put on the show as a possible spin-off character, when she was in Vegas as a guest star in 'Crazy Horse Paris,' and to me she was a little-sister type trying to make it in Vegas. That's why she was relevant as a friend."
But producers had other ideas.
"Of course, those who wanted her on the show wanted her to promote Playboy," Madison says, "and I was not interested in promoting Playboy by then."
Scott and Amie Yancey of 'Flipping Vegas'
Why they were picked: Telegenic, rich and highly animated, the Yanceys filled a void on unscripted shows by unearthing the process of renovating often dilapidated, "ripped apart" (Amie's term) vacated homes and selling them for a muscular profit.
The couple's interaction is often contentious; too, as Scott says, "We're like Ricky and Lucy Ricardo, with some F-bombs thrown in."
As is typically the case, Las Vegas played into the allure of the pilot. Amie says: "The 24-hour city is a magical place, there's no place like it, and people want to see where people live here. We take them to these homes, and also show them some really cool scenery."
How reality is different from reality TV: As Scott says, "We play hard, fight hard, love hard. They don't show a lot of the love in there. They are going to edit out me holding Amie's hand. If I say, 'Thank you,' there's no chance in hell it's going to make it. "
"We seem to argue all the time, but we don't bring up work on our off time," Amie says. Scott adds, "I might say the F-word a couple of times in over 120 hours of filming, but then you see the series and it's like 75 times. I am saying this over and over, and my mom is watching, and I need to make it clear to her that I don't swear that much."
The couple's new reality is they are hosting home-flipping seminars across the country. "More than ever in my life, people are asking me how they can make this happen, how to get into this field, and it's very positive because they love the show," Scott says. "So, it's OK, in the end, how we are perceived on the show."
Dirk Vermin of 'Bad Ink'
Why he was picked: Vermin is an artist, entrepreneur and something of a Renaissance man as a native Las Vegan who opened PussyKat Tattoo on Maryland Parkway just south of Tropicana Avenue 15 years ago.
For more than a decade, he has been one of the city's most recognizable figures, as founder, lead vocalist and guitarist of the punk band the Vermin.
His professional specialty remains somewhat rare: Masking or correcting either poor tattoo craftsmanship or simply bad ideas by those wearing the tattoos.
His image as a single father of two young girls (14-year-old Jasmine and 11-year-old TigerLily, who appear regularly on the show) has also made his on-screen life appealing to viewers.
How real life is different from reality TV: "If anything, I think they show me in a better light than I actually am," Vermin says, laughing. "My actual life would probably be on Showtime instead of A&E. But they are showing more depth of character and a softer side of me than I think people see in real life.
It's not a drama-based show. It's about comedy, and it is also very heartwarming. You see more heartwarming stories than you might if you were following me around, and not so much silliness."
Saying he is now recognized "everywhere, including Times Square and Disneyland," Vermin was encouraged by producers' decision to air an episode featuring an 83-year-old woman who had a rosary tattooed around her arm.
"She had all of her jewelry stolen from her room in an assisted-living facility, and one of the items taken was this rosary that I think was given to her by her grandmother," Vermin says. "We did this tattoo, and it was her first at age 83, and afterward she says, 'This is one rosary nobody is going to take from me.' It was one of those moments where the room just got quiet.'
"It was a real moment, 100 percent."
Danny Koker of 'Counting Cars'
Why he was picked: Koker was among the many expert guests brought into the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, summoned to examine and help provide value estimates on vehicles offered for sale or pawn at the shop. Koker is also a well-known rock musician around town who fronts the band Count's 77 and is the proprietor of Count's Vamp'd Rock Bar and Grill on West Sahara Avenue.
How reality differs from reality TV: "In all honesty, it would be that you don't see my immediate family on the show," he says.
"I am very protective of that, protective of my mom. I have family in town and in other parts of the country and I keep them 100 percent off the show.
We have this amazing fan base who really love the show and respond very positively, but there is this group that can be very intrusive and a little kooky sometimes, and I don't want my family to be involved in that. So you don't see that side of me on the show."
The way business is conducted, too, is changed. Koker's staff works in a higher gear to meet the show's recording schedule (and "Counting Cars" is in the middle of shooting Season 4 in Las Vegas).
"We are now up against tight time constraints for a show airing on a network, where if I had 12-13 cars to restore, normally it would take a couple of years," says Koker, who is a self-taught mechanic and vehicle restoration expert.
"Now, in our world, we have just weeks, or maybe months, to get that work done."