When Adonis Thompson attended a local modeling convention in January, he had no idea that six months later, he'd be a VJ for Fuse, a popular cable music channel.
In July, Thompson, 24, won "Ultimate Fuse Gig: The VJ Search," a reality-show-style contest where viewers voted for their favorite of seven finalists in a VJ competition. Now he's co-hosting a show called Videomaniac with VJ Marianela Pereyra.
Thompson attended the convention in hopes of pursuing a modeling career. He was named one of the 50 Hottest Bachelors in a Cosmopolitan magazine write-in contest in 2004 and was hoping to take his newfound modeling career a step further.
"I thought, hey, I did it once. Why not just run with the wind and see how far it takes you?" Thompson said.
But he got more than he'd bargained for. At the convention, he was pulled aside by a talent scout from Fuse. The scout asked Thompson to give a short audition, but he wouldn't reveal why. The next day, Thompson got a phone call asking him to send in a taped audition. After he sent the tape, he was informed that it was for the Fuse contest.
"Once I found that out, I knew that's what I wanted to do," he said. "I went to school for TV and I love music. Everywhere I am, there's music playing. You put those two together and that's the perfect match."
Thompson said he began practicing his VJ skills daily in front of the mirror, using a hairbrush as his microphone.
Once the show's producers narrowed the finalists down to seven, Thompson flew to New York. Throughout the competition, VJs introduced videos and viewers voted for their favorites.
Thompson originally hails from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and moved to Memphis after attending Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. He said moving to New York was a big shock after living in the Mid-South.
"Nothing can prepare you for New York," he said. "Down South, we do things in slow motion, and you enjoy life a lot more. Up here, it's like a rat race, and you either adjust or you fall behind. I think I've adjusted pretty well, and I wouldn't change it for the world."