As our Heroes make their way through Hearthome City and to the Hearthome City Gym, they run into their friend Nando at the Gym door who tells them that the Gym Leader will be away for quite awhile, much to Ash’s dismay. But telling them about the upcoming Hearthome City Pokemon Tag Battle, Ash and Brock decided to enter that instead – as a team. Meanwhile, the Hearthome City Pokemon Contest is just getting underway, and Dawn finds herself competing along with Nando, Zoey, and Jessilina, who of course is actually Jessie in disguise. Feeling very confident, Dawn gives a superb performance, but is sadly shocked to learn that she hasn’t even made it past the 1st round. As she struggles to cope with the situation, Jessilina is defeated by Nando, leaving Zoey and Nando battling in the finals, which Nando ultimately wins. Sharing feelings about their losses proves to cement Dawn and Zoey’s friendship even further, and as they both marvel at Nando’s ability to compete in both Pokemon Gym battles and Contests, the future begins to look much brighter for both of them, as the Pokemon Tag Battle is set to take place for Ash and Brock in a matter of days.
Leaving his friends trailing behind, Ash races towards the Hearthome Gym, excited to win his third Gym Badge. However, the doors are shut and Brock reads a note on the door that states that the Gym Leader is out and won't be back for a while. Budding Trainer and rival Nando confirms this, and suggests Ash enter the Hearthome City Tag Battle Competition, a tournament where skilled Trainers pair up to compete in several rounds of Tag Battles. Ash is thrilled by the tournament, and Brock agrees to compete as well. With the Gym closed, Nando turns his attention to the upcoming Pokémon Contest instead, which reminds Dawn that she needs to register.
As Nando and Dawn walk to the Contest Hall, Dawn learns that he still has one Ribbon and one Badge. Dawn knows that it has been some time since the Floaroma Contest, but thanks to Zoey's help, she is confident about Double Performances. At the Contest Hall, Zoey relaxes with her Pokémon as Dawn and Nando find her, Zoey's leg fully healed from her injury. Nando meets Zoey for the first time, but when Nando reveals his decision to participate in both Pokémon Contests and Gym battles, it draws criticism from Zoey. Meanwhile, Jessie puts on her "Jessilina" disguise and trains with Dustox and Seviper, but decides to use Mime Jr. in the performance instead.
The next day, the Hearthome Contest begins as the stadium roof opens, letting the sunshine in as Marian talks about Double Performances and introduces the Contest Judges: Raoul Contesta from the Pokémon Activities Committee, Mr. Sukizo from the Pokémon Fan Club, and the Nurse Joy from the local Pokémon Center. The Performance Stage begins with Nando as the first contestant, using his Sunflora and Kricketune. Sunflora's Grass Whistle and Kricketune's Sing combined with Nando's harp captivates the audience with the melodic music. The performance also earns him Zoey's respect as Nando earns high marks.
Other Coordinators take their turns, as Dawn is still confident despite many high-experience Coordinators. Her turn arrives as she takes the stage with Pachirisu and Piplup. Pachirisu launches Sweet Kiss while Piplup encases the attack with Bubble Beam. Pachirisu follows up with Discharge as Piplup whips up a Whirlpool, the electricity causing the whirlpool to dissipate in a flash of sparkles. She gets positive reviews, while her mother watches from home intently.
Jessie takes her turn, sending out Mime Jr. and Cacnea. Cacnea uses Needle Arm, which Mime Jr. Mimics before using Tickle on Jessie as both Cacnea and Mime Jr. hug and tickle Jessie, spinning her around the stage. The unique experience gets Dawn's attention but actually creeps out Ash and Brock. Cacnea then fires Pin Missile, which Mime Jr. mimics, into the sky and creating fireworks.
Jessie gets a very high score as Zoey then takes the stage with Glameow and Shellos. Shellos fires Mud Bomb as Glameow's Iron Tail breaks the attack. Glameow taps into Secret Power, which creates a paralyzing light as on the stage. Glameow then prepares Shadow Claw to create a sparkle from the Secret Power. Shellos than launches Water Pulse, surrounding Glameow as it uses its claws to split the Water Pulse, causing the water to then rebound on itself and create a dazzling sparkle. Her performance also gets a great score.
The first round ends as the results are calculated. Backstage, Dawn is confident that she passed, even predicting that her and Zoey will be in the finals. However her hopes are quickly dashed as she fails to make the cut while Nando, Zoey and Jessilina all clear the Performance Round. Dawn is clearly upset by the result as her friends notice, Dawn's Pokémon and her friends all try to cheer her up. Though Dawn is still distraught, even angry, as she gets up and runs out of the room. Zoey suggest that they leave her be for the moment as Dawn runs outside and lets out a scream of agony. Meanwhile, Jessie and Nando wind up battling as Nando's Kricketune easily takes out Jessie's Seviper and Dustox, depleting all her points and sending Nando to the finals.
Backstage, Dawn gets back into her travel clothes and as she heads out, Ash and Brock informs her that the final round will pit Nando against Zoey. Dawn joins her friends and watches from the stands as her two rivals battle it out. That night, Ash and Brock talk to Johanna over the videophone, as she knows that both Dawn and Zoey are upset, since Nando managed to beat Zoey in the final round. Johanna decides to leave Dawn talk to Zoey instead as both can sympathize with one another. On the balcony, Zoey reveals her respect for Nando and her inspiration. Dawn is still upset over losing in the first round, but Zoey orders her to cut it out and focus on how to improve for next time. With Zoey’s encouragement, Dawn cheers up and looks forward to her next Contest.