Jose Iniguez comes from a town where there are more cows than people. For a big chunk of his childhood, his hometown didn't even have a movie theater. Now he's one of the five finalists competing for a chance to become MTV's first-ever Twitter Jockey.
Having arrived at this moment, the Tulare, California, native credits MTV with fueling the passion that earned him the spot — an enthusiasm that stretches back nearly a decade before anyone had ever heard of a Twitter account.
"A big reason why MTV has been such a big part of my life is because it became my one-stop shop for everything pop music/culture. 'TRL' was part of my daily routine," he told MTV News during a tour of the town where he grew up.
Jose moved away from Los Angeles to Tulare when he was very young and always yearned to go back. After years of saving his lunch money to buy Ricky Martin CDs and waiting by the radio with a cassette tape ready to record his favorite songs, he finally returned to his birthplace as a student at UCLA.
"Moving to L.A. was so freeing! Pop music and pop culture everywhere! I felt like a little kid in a candy store. So many opportunities came my way as well. From free concerts to becoming a radio DJ, I did it all in L.A.," he says.
With the help of ZYNC from American Express, MTV chose Jose as one of the 20 social-media enthusiasts in the running for a job as MTV's very first TJ. Over the last six weeks, the candidates took part in challenges that tested everything from their skills at growing their Twitter followers to their ability to break an unsigned band.
Jose's pop-culture inspiration shone through during the MTV TJ challenges, and he'll be harnessing it when all five candidates face off during the live finale in New York City, on Sunday, August 8 on MTV and MTV.com.
The winner of the MTV TJ search will be chosen by you, so tune in to MTV or MTV.com on August 8 at 10 p.m. ET to vote for your favorite candidate!