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NBC Insider America's Got Talent

How Sunny Chatum Fooled the Judges with Their Shocking (and “Annoying”) Act

It's not often that an AGT Act advances to the next round after receiving four red exes from the Judges, but that's just what happened for a Brooklyn comedian. 

By Jax Miller

Inspired by a past America’s Got Talent winner, a Texas man came to the AGT stage with a dream… and a dream board. But the Uke-armed man identified as “Sunny Chatum” wasn’t at all what he appeared to be.

How to Watch

Watch the Season 19 premiere of America’s Got Talent Tuesday, May 28 at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock

The mustachioed man purporting to be Sunny Chatum told AGT Host Terry Crews that he was a songwriter and singer from Paris, Texas. Judge Simon Cowell hoped to end the episode on a high note when Chatum came onstage, wearing a black Texas-style getup with a ukulele strapped around his chest.

The bubbly and quirky Chatum explained he worked with custom embroidery and upholstery for classic car interiors. However, he became inspired to perform after seeing AGT Season 11’s Grace VanderWaal win the competition.

RELATED: This Is Why Simon Cowell May Be Quieter Than Usual During AGT 18 Auditions

“I saw her play, and I just got a ukulele, and I started writing songs, and they just started pouring outta me,” Chatum claimed.

Chatum presented the Judges with a dream board, a small pamphlet showing images of cheering crowds and his anticipated Grammy Award.

Sunny Chatum performs on the America's Got Talent stage.

When asked to perform his song, Chatum soon directed his attention to Judge Sofia Vergara, explaining he was already spoken for. It appeared the supposed singer was stalling when requesting to make a shout-out to his “lady friend.”

Judges asked him to stop procrastinating when Chatum asked for help picking a song, prompting Judge Howie Mandel to give him the dreaded red X. When Judge Heidi Klum suggested a Grace VanderWaal tune, Chatum insisted, “I want to sing an original song,” whipping out a large stack of index cards featuring hundreds of songs.

The live audience booed when, time and time again, Chatum continually procrastinated. Soon, he whipped out egg shaker gifts for the Judges, with Cowell next to vote no for Chatum and Vergara following suit.

Klum’s hand got closer and closer to the red buzzer, and after Chatum failed on multiple promises to sing, it was four no votes for the Texas singer.

“Are you kidding me, Sunny?” said Klum as audience members applauded her decision.

As Judges tried to get him to exit the stage, an awkward-standing Chatum began scratching off his mustache, with Judges realizing it was a woman with a comedy routine the entire time. Losing the Texas twang, the contestant introduced herself as Krista Komondor from Brooklyn, New York.

Who is Sunny Chatum, aka Krista Komondor?

Wait for It... Sunny Chatum's Audition Leaves the Crowd SPEECHLESS! | Auditions | AGT 2023 | NBC

Krista Komondor is a New York-based comedienne and clown with many faces, according to her website. Characters include “sexpert” Madame Komondor, a silent clown named “Piano,” and “Mr. Saturday Night,” the latter being a character described as “a cross between Johnny Cash, The Bard, and a Village Idiot.”

Sunny Chatum also appears as one of Komondor’s many faces.

Komondor graduated from École Philippe Gaulier, a theater workshop in France that has catered to some big names in the entertainment industry, including Helena Bonham Carter, Emma Thompson, and Sacha Baron Cohen. According to Komondor’s website, she performed at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which was met with glowing reviews.

Komondor fuses standup, improv, clowning, and playwriting into her routines, which have been called “absurd, poignant, and captivating.”

RELATED: How “Beautiful” Gabriel Henrique’s Unbelievable High Notes Led to a Golden Buzzer

Komondor’s previous work as a nurse practitioner inspired her 2011 play, Mercy Machine. According to her Instagram page, Komondor is also an “actor” and “cat mom.”

What reservations the AGT Judges had were quashed when learning Sunny Chatum’s stall tactics were part of a hilarious routine. Immediately following the grand reveal, Mandel gave Komondor a standing ovation, comparing the Act to famed comedian Andy Kaufman.

Mandel might have voted yes, but it was still a no for Klum, who stated, “She’s a little bit annoying.”

“That was the whole point,” Vergara told Klum before giving Komondor her second yes vote.

It was up to Cowell to decide whether Komondor would stay in the competition, now encouraged by the audience’s cheers and applause.

“You’ve gone from being a most annoying contestant — genuinely — I’ve ever met in my life to suddenly, everyone loves you,” said Cowell, ultimately giving Komondor the green light to continue in the AGT competition.

Something tells us the Judges won’t be fooled again, but surely, it’s a testament to Komondor’s theatrical talent.

Watch all-new episodes of America’s Got Talent Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and the following day on Peacock.