The kids are at Terracotta Town, where May and Max will catch a boat back home to Hoenn. The town happens to be hosting a festival, complete with its very own Pokémon Contest. Ash figures it's unofficial, so he wants to compete. Both Ash and May sign up, with Ash using Pikachu and Sceptile, and May using her Eevee and Combusken.
Nurse Joy is the MC, doing her best Lillian impersonation. May goes first, impressing the crowd by having Eevee use Dig and Shadow Ball to create a fireworks display. Ash is equally impressive when Pikachu uses Quick Attack, Thunderbolt, and Iron Tail to create electric rings that buzz around the arena. At the end of the first round, May is in first place with Ash a close second, both of them advancing to the finals against each other.