May has arrived in Slateport City for the Grand Festival. Her mother, Caroline, has come to cheer her on, and her friends sent notes to wish her luck. With 247 competitors in the preliminary matches and only 64 slots in the main competition round, May will need more than just luck—especially when Drew and Harley are among the competitors, too!
Harley is friendly towards May, but her friends are suspicious of the advice he gives her. Meanwhile, Team Rocket has dressed James up as Norman and offers free counseling sessions. When Trainers show up, their Pokémon are stolen! Harley sees this and drags May off to see "Norman." When she and her friends see the false Norman, Team Rocket's number is up.
With Team Rocket's plan foiled, it's back to the competition. May uses Silver Wind just as Harley suggested, and it works great. She advances to the next round along with Harley and Drew. But Drew is still skeptical of Harley's motives as they prepare for the main competition.
After all of the hard training and earning her five Ribbons, May's long-awaited moment has come. She's arrived at Slateport City for the Pokémon Contest Grand Festival, and is just taking a step into the Contest Hall to register. At the front desk, she signs her Pokémon and all five of her Ribbons in, and the receptionist gives her a ticket, and a guidebook containing all of the rules, maps of the stadium, and restaurant locations.
Everyone goes to their dorm rooms and are impressed with the hotel quality accommodation. May is greeted by a surprise guest - her mom. May asks her mom if her dad was going to be there but he couldn't make it simply because he's too busy at the Gym, which is getting quite a lot of challengers. But, she says he'll be watching her on TV and not missing a single moment. Brock tells Caroline that he has been making sure they eat healthy meals just as she suggested. Ash points out to May that her room has a cool view of the ocean. Caroline also delivers May her mail, which include letters from many old friends like Kelly and Savannah. May starts shaking out of nervousness about the Grand Festival, but she remembers that everyone is supporting her and because of that she shouldn't be afraid. May asks Brock about the rules that are in the guidebook. Just like in Rubello Town, which instituted "Grand Festival rules", different Pokémon are to be used in various rounds, and just like any normal Contest it has preliminary matches, followed by the main Contest matches. 247 Coordinators compete in the preliminary matches, but only 64 Coordinators move on to the main Contest matches. Brock suggests to May that she should practice to prepare for the preliminary rounds and she agrees.
Outside, Team Rocket are pulling one of their old tricks again. They're disguised as Norman and his manager, and making autographs. One kid is interested in an autograph though as he comes up, Team Rocket greets him with their motto before revealing that he must attend a Pokémon counseling session just to get an autograph. The young boy asks Jessie if she is Norman's mother. Jessie yells at the boy for suggesting that, says she is his manager, and James has to restrain her. James tells the kids that if they come to the counseling session that he would give them plenty of advice on how to raise their Pokémon, which excites the gathering fans. Meowth says that because they are all good Pokémon Trainers, that they have a lot of strong Pokémon that Team Rocket can steal from them.
Meanwhile, where the other Coordinators are practicing, everyone observes a Coordinator working with his Zigzagoon and another working with their Houndoom. May decides to show her mom her full team of Pokémon. Caroline is impressed, showing particular fondness to Beautifly because of its elegance. Not wanting to be left out, Ash decides to continue training with his Snorunt to perfect its Ice Beam, unfortunately freezing Ash in the process. Munchlax, who was hiding behind May because of the wild Ice Beam, then spots another Trainer feeding Pokéblock to his Zigzagoon and swiftly moves over and intercepts the next treat before the Zigzagoon could catch it. May apologizes, but the Trainer does not get angry, saying he has plenty of Pokéblock. Max then gives Munchlax some of May's Pink Surprise which promptly fills Munchlax up before it falls asleep. Caroline is not surprised, saying that the rumors of Munchlax's appetite must be true. May tells her that Munchlax also likes to run off so they have to keep a close eye on it all of the time.
May turns around to see her rival Drew. She runs over and begins boasting about her skill as a Coordinator. Drew, confident as ever, says that just saying something doesn't make it so. May gets annoyed and begins to yell at Drew, but she quietens down when Drew presents her with a rose. Drew then congratulates her on reaching the Grand Festival, but on her enthusiasm, he then goes on to say that enthusiasm cannot replace pure talent. May gets annoyed and looks about to yell at Drew before stopping herself, saying that Drew will change his tone when he sees her in the Grand Festival.
Just then Harley makes an appearance, and runs over to May. None of the group are happy to see him, especially not May. Caroline assumes that he must be another one of May's, but Max explains to his mom that Harley was the one that cheated during the Purika City Contest and is not their friend. However Harley appears to have turned over a new leaf, and is very apologetic about his behavior in their last encounter. May is speechless, and Harley begs for forgiveness. May, a little confused, agrees to forgive Harley, who is overjoyed and May looks a little frightened at his intense manner. Max calls Harley a "weirdo" and Ash doesn't trust him, however Caroline seems to believe he is sincere. Harley then spots the red rose in May's hands and asks if it is from this young man, but when Drew is introduced Harley seems to recognize the name and begins giving him a lot of compliments, saying that Trainers are all gunning for him and saying he is the one to beat. Harley is surprised that May has such powerful friends, but May replies that Drew mostly makes fun of her. Harley waves off her sentiments, and sees the rose as a sign of a romantic connection between the pair, which embarrasses May. Harley laughs and appears satisfied that he was right, then taking a snapshot of Drew, who appears confused about the whole thing. Harley then says goodbye, and Drew also walks off. May says that Harley speaks so much she isn't sure whether to believe him. Max supports her, saying that Harley is as big a phoney as they come and May agrees with him. As Harley is walking away from them, he says to himself that he will soon get his revenge on May.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket is having their Pokémon counseling session and are assessing a Trainer's Espeon. James comments that Espeon has been raised very well and that he can help it to become even stronger, so its Trainer willingly hands it over. As Jessie goes backstage and stows Espeon in a cage, Harley looks on in amazement of the sight of seeing Norman. Harley approaches May, interrupting her training session with Beautifly. Harley suggests to May that she should only use Silver Wind all of the way through the preliminary competition matches and that the judges will just have to admire how great the performance is. Seeing Harley’s sympathy routine, May agrees to follow his suggestion. Drew, however, advises May against the tactic, adding that using multiple moves will better showcase her talents. Harley tells May not to listen to Drew because he is jealous and suggests that he take her to see Norman since he has more extensive knowledge. May is left confused as her father is back in Petalburg, though Harley shows her the Pokémon counseling flyer to convince her otherwise. As James assesses an Illumise, Caroline is certain that it isn’t her husband as he would speak to Trainers in the same way. Ash confronts the scammers, though James warns him to be careful about who he is calling a faker. May refuses to believe the con and has Beautifly use Silver Wind to reveal their true identities as Team Rocket. The Rocket trio makes their getaway in a helicopter-like machine. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt to break the machine, sending the trio blasting off and freeing all of the Pokémon. Beautifly uses Silver Wind to bring them back to the ground safely. All of the Trainers are grateful to have their Pokémon back, thanking Ash and May. Harley comments to May that Beautifly's Silver Wind is much better and getting stronger while May says that she now has more confidence in it and will rely on Silver Wind to breeze through the preliminary rounds. Though the plan only concerns Drew, who has a worried expression on his face.
The Grand Festival begins with a Zigzagoon using Shadow Ball, Robert's Milotic sparkling as it comes out of its Poké Ball, Drew's Roselia using Petal Dance while spinning earns a 95, and Harley's Cacturne’s Bullet Seed attacks receives a score of 84 from the judges. Backstage, Harley reminds May to rely on her Beautifly's Silver Wind for the preliminary rounds, and she tells him that she will do it. Taking to the stage, May brings out Beautifly who sparkles brightly before using Silver Wind towards the sun which creates shiny sparkles falling to the ground. May receives an 88 score, much to the annoyance of Harley who earned 84. Afterwards, May's friends congratulate her on a job well done while Harley also approaches to offer his congratulations as well, reminding her to keep using Silver Wind. May says she will continue using Silver Wind. The results are revealed showing that Robert earned the top score of the round, Drew is in third place, May in 48th place, and Harley also made it through.