NEW YORK (AP) _ An aspiring artist from Florida beat out 6,000 other aspiring video jockeys for an instant taste of fame.

Thalia D. DaCosta, 21, of Sunrise, Fla., won MTV's nationwide search for a VJ on Saturday. Tryouts had been held in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York between April 6 and Wednesday.

Five finalists were tested on their music knowledge, poise and stamina live on MTV on Saturday. Viewers voted for the winner over the phone and in cyberspace.

``I just won a contest for being myself,'' Ms. DaCosta said. ``I was really a struggling, starving artist yesterday. And today, I have .... a really well-paying job.''

The competition, the second annual VJ ``Wanna-Be'' tryout, was open to people 18 to 28 years old. Last year, Jesse Camp, of Granby, Conn., stole the show and spent a year as a host on the cable music network.

Ms. DaCosta is taking home $25,000 and a new car. Her salary has not been determined yet.

Dave Sirulnick, the executive vice president of MTV news and production, said Ms. DaCosta's first VJ shift will come next week.