Combusken's Fire Spin is spiraling out of control in the Lilycove Contest Hall. Combusken protects May, who takes control by having the Fire- and Fighting-type unleash a fireball and perform Sky Uppercut. The performance earns May a decent, but lowered score for losing control in the first place.
Meanwhile, Ash is keeping an eye on the contest from outside while he continues to teach his Swellow Aerial Ace.
Kelly puts on a great performance with Grumpig, using Psychic to catch thrown PokéBlocks. A disguised Jessie is up next with Chimecho, who she hurts and forces to use Astonish—an unusual move that actually earns her a perfect score!
In the next round, May faces off against Jessie, and the battle is pretty much even, until Chimecho misses with Double-Edge, letting Combusken hit it with Sky Uppercut. Team Rocket retaliates with yet another one of their attacks, but Swellow drives them off with its new Aerial Ace attack.
May and Kelly face off in the final round, May taking a beating until she comes up with an idea to use Fire Spin on the ceiling, which rains down on the whole room so Grumpig can't possibly escape. May claims victory, winning her third ribbon.
May's performance at Lilycove Pokémon Contest gets off to a chaotic start when Combusken Fire Spin goes out of control. Luckily, Combusken blocks the oncoming inferno and uses Peck to create a dazzling display of embers. May orders a follow up Fire Spin to gather up the embers into a fireball before smacking it with a Sky Uppercut, bringing another rain of fire down. The crowd goes wild, and the judges commend May's unintentional, yet well delivered Appeal with a cumulative score of 23.6. May heads backstage where Kelly praises her efforts, though Jessie sees that the low score is sure to stop May advancing into the next round.
Kelly's takes to the stage, calling on her Grumpig to show the crowd its springy tail. She follow up with a "Pokéblock party", and has Grumpig uses its Psychic to juggle Pokéblocks. The audience gets really involved with Grumpig's performance and it finishes by eating all of the Pokéblocks. The judges award Grumpig a combined score of 27.7, which will be hard to beat. Next in the Contest are Jessie, under the pseudonym "Jessafina", and Chimecho. The two soothe the audience with melodic tones Heal Bell, but their finish is clouded by Jessie trying to make Chimecho's voice more dynamic. She tugs on its tail, and Chimecho lets out ear-splitting sounds of its Astonish instead. Surprisingly the judges award Jessie and Chimecho a perfect score of 30. Raoul Contesta explains that Jessafina's daring performance was unexpected, a hallmark attribute of any good Coordinator. Meowth admits that Jessie and Chimecho may be a perfect pair, but James scolds him for that remark.
With the conclusion of the Appeals Round, the eight Coordinators moving on to the Contest Battles are revealed, including Jessafina, Kelly and May. After defeating their opponents in the first match of the Battle Round, May and Jessafina face each other in the semi-finals, with Combusken versus Chimecho. Combusken lashes Chimecho with a Quick Attack, and Chimecho retaliates by Wrapping itself around its opponent's neck. James watches in horror as Combusken Pecks at Chimecho to free itself before engulfing it in a Fire Spin. Jessafina orders a Double-Edge attack, though Combusken counters with a Sky Uppercut, and this completely knocks out Jessie and Chimecho. Meanwhile, Ash and Swellow continue training to master Aerial Ace outside the Contest Hall. Under Vladimir's watch Swellow manages to finally master the attack's accuracy and timing, performing a textbook perfect version of Aerial Ace on a target. However, on one attempt Swellow misses the target and instead hits Team Rocket, who are heading home after Jessie's defeat in the Contest.
It comes down to May versus Kelly in the finals. Grumpig tries an Iron Tail, but Combusken catches it in its claws, costing Kelly some of her points. The Fire-type issues a Fire Spin counterattack, but is foiled by a Psychic, and Grumpig sends it back as a fire dragon. Combusken smashes it with Sky Uppercut, but then gets caught in a psychokinetic trap and is rendered helpless. Kelly declares that she is going to finish May off, and Grumpig Bounces towards its opponent. With quick thinking on May's part, Combusken aims a Fire Spin at the ceiling, causing it to rain fire and damage Grumpig. They fall together as the Psychic attack fails, but Combusken saves them both by using Fire Spin to halt their descent. The five minutes are up, and with the most points remaining, May is declares the winner. The Judges also affirm the ruling, adding that May’s efforts to help her opponent make her a noble contestant. May proudly holds her new bubble-patterned Lilycove Ribbon. Kelly promises that she'll be even stronger the next time they meet. May is up for the challenge, replying that she'll be using her custom Pokéblock.