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The episode begins with Momoan announcing the lucky Coordinators that have made it into the next round thanks to their skill in the appeal part of the Contest. A screen lights up above her, showing that Zoey, Ash, Dawn and Jessie have all passed into the battle stages, much to their delight. Dawn is relieved, and Zoey congratulates her. Excited that she's been able to get this far, Dawn decides to call up her mother to tell her the good news. Upon calling her, her mother congratulates her too, and wishes her the best of luck in the battle stage. Dawn nods and says that she'll do her best.
After hanging up, Momoan announces to the Coordinators and the audience that the battle round pairings are decided at random. On the screen overhead, the results are shown. Ash will face off against Zoey, Dawn is against a young boy and Jessie's opponent is a stern looking young man. Ash is happy that he's going up against Zoey, and that going for the Shinou League and ribbons will be a lot of fun. At this, Zoey glares at him from across the room. Dawn tells Ash to calm down, and tries to tell him about Contest Battles. Ash seems confident though, until Zoey walks over to him. Ash wishes Zoey luck, but Zoey shrugs his best wishes off and asks him if he's going for the Shinou League. Ash says that he is, and Zoey says that he really shouldn't interfere in Contests: Contest battles and Gym Battles are totally different, and he should never compare them.
Watching all of this is Jessie in disguise, who smirks at the verbal dressing down that Ash just received as the young group walks off. At this,James and Meowth appear, hobbling over to her and covered in bumps and bruises. Jessie is shocked and asks what happened to them, and they go outside to talk in private. James explains that they were caught out trying to sell the fake entrance enhancing ribbons, much to Jessie's dismay. She gets up however, and states that this time, regardless of anything, she will win a ribbon. A blinding holy light appears behind her, and James and Meowth bow down before her. As Jessie laughs, we see Wobbuffet behind her holding a stage light.
Back inside the Contest Hall, Momoan tells the crowd that the first battle of the Contest is about to begin, and the screen above her shows Ash and Zoey's faces, along with a timer showing 5 minutes. The battle begins, and Ash sends out his chosen Pokemon, Aipom who appears in a burst of stars. Zoey sends out Glameow. Ash orders Aipom to attack, but Zoey smirks and mutters an order to Glameow who sits down and watches Aipom come for it. Ash smiles at this, thinking he's got it won, and orders Aipom to use Focus Punch. Aipom does so, but Glameow reacts fast and grabs Aipom by the tail, using its Shadow Claw attack. Aipom is shocked, even more so when Glameow swings Aipom around by the tail and throws it across the arena. Ash tells Aipom to use Swift, which it does, raining lightning fast stars down on Glameow. Zoey tells Glameow to attack, but ends up being confused and unable to when Aipom uses Double Team on Ash's command. With Glameow wondering which one to attack, Ash tells Aipom to use Swift agan. However, Zoey tells Glameow to jump into the air, and Glameow uses its claws to knock the Swift attack back at Aipom and knocking it back.
The two trainers and Pokemon face off, and Ash tells Aipom to use Focus Punch, and Zoey tells Glameow to use Iron Tail. Iron Tail blocks the Punch, and the two Pokemon are locked as their two attacks push against each other. Eventually the Iron Tail wins, smashing into Aipom's face and knocking it back into the ground. With only 29 seconds left on the clock, it doesn't look good for Ash, and Zoey, seeing this, smirks. Not accounting for Ash's hotblooded battle style however, Ash tells Aipom to get up, fight and do its best. Aipom nods and gets up, running towards Glameow to attack with a Focus Punch. Zoey smirks, and tells Glameow to use its Shadow Claw attack, which causes its paw to glow with a strange dark power. Ash smiles, knowing that Shadow Claw is a Ghost type attack. Dawn realizes what Ash is thinking, and says that as Aipom is a Normal type, it's unafected by Glameow's Ghost type attack. Brock isn't convinced though, and says that Zoey must know this, and has a reason for calling for such an attack.
The two Pokemon collide, and Aipom's Focus Punch overpowers the Shadow Claw. Ash tells Aipom to attack, and Zoey tells her Pokemon to jump to avoid the Focus Punch. Glameow does so, jumping high above Aipom before coming down and delivering a harsh Iron Tail attack on Zoey's command. Aipom is sent flying back, with nine seconds left on the clock. Zoey looks confident that she's going to win, but Ash says he isn't about to give up, and tells Aipom to use a full power, no holding back, Focus Punch. Just as the attack is about to hit Glameow square in the face, the timer runs out and Zoey is declared the winner. The crowd cheers, and Zoey turns to face them and bows.
Back in the Coordinator waiting room, Dawn congratulates Ash on an amazing battle. At this, Zoey walks up and Ash gets up and congratulates her also, but Zoey stares at him unimpressed. Ash is shocked, but Zoey explains that she was was impressed at how close the battle was, especially the last Focus Punch which made her unable to react or counter it. She smiles and says it was a great battle, and the two shake hands. Ash explains that the reason he entered the Contest in the first place was because of Aipom, and Dawn backs him up, saying that Aipom really wanted to enter. Zoey turns to look at the Pokemon in question, who is busy snacking away on some Pokemon food.
Not soon after, the next battle round begins. Dawn faces off against a Swalot, who is frozen by Buneary's Ice Beam Attack. As for Jessie, she faces off against a Rhydon with her Carnivine. Both trainers successful, the semi-final round pairings are announced: Dawn vs Zoey, and Jessie vs. A young male coordinator. Dawn breaths deeply, and says that this battle will decide who will make it to the final, and who will have a shot at getting the Contest Ribbon. The two trainers face off, with the large screen above them showing their point bars and the five minutes that the battle will last for. Dawn starts things off by sending out her Buneary, who appears in a burst of cherry blossoms. Zoey sends out her Glameow in response. Dawn is the first to attack, telling Buneary to use its Ice Beam attack. Buneary does so, sending out a huge burst of cold energy right at Glameow.
Zoey counters by telling Glameow to use Shadow Claw, which shocks Dawn who tells Zoey that her Pokemon is a Normal type, and thus the ttack will have no effect. Zoey smiles, and says that type doesn't matter, as Shadow Claw rips through the Ice Beam attack without any difficulty. This causes Dawn to lose points, but she quickly regains her cool and tells her Pokemon to attack again. Zoey tells Glameow to jump, which it does, using its tail to spring up high above the battle field, and then to come down and use Fury Swipes on Buneary. Buneary is sent flying back, which Zoey uses to her advantage as she tells her Glameow to use Iron Tail. Dawn tells her Buneary to try and stop the attack, and Buneary reacts quickly, getting up and grabbing Glameow's Iron Tail attack between its ears.
Zoey is impressed, and tells Dawn that Buneary did some smart thinking to stop her attack... but that won't be enough. Glameow starts spinning its tail, and with Buneary still clamped on, the poor bunny Pokemon is spun around and around before being tossed off just like Aipom. Dawn counters though, and tells Buneary to quickly use Ice Beam. Zoey tells Glameow to dodge, but by jumping, the Ice Beam hits the stage floor and freezes it. Glameow lands, and finds itself unable to gain any footing under the slippery surface. Dawn uses this to her advantage, and tells Buneary to use Dizzy Punch.
Buneary does so, smashing its ears over and over again into Glameow who slips about on the icy surface. The two Pokemon separate, and Dawn tells her Pokemon to attack again. Zoey isn't about to let the same thing happen twice however, and tells Glameow to use Shadow Claw on the ice on the floor. This causes the ice to be smashed apart, sending large chunks of it smashing into Buneary. As Buneary is knocked back by th ice particles, Dawn's points lower even further, followed by Zoey telling Glameow to use Iron Tail. The attack slams straight into Buneary, sending it flying back. Dawn begs Buneary to try to get up, but just as she does so, the timer runs out and Zoey is declared the winner.
The crowd cheers, as Dawn pats Buneary on the head and tells it that it put up a great fight: Something which the three judges seem to agree with, as they shower both trainers with praise. Not soon after, Hikari calls up her mother, and the smiles of the stage turn into tears of disappointment after coming so far. Her mother tells her that despite losing, she has come a long way and proved that she can do well in a Contest, and should be proud of herself. She then encourages Dawn to go cheer Zoey on in the final. Dawn smiles, wipes away her tears and agrees, smiling. When we see the final, we find that four minutes of the final have already passed, with Jessie going up against Zoey, with Carnivine wrapping itself around and puting the squeeze on Glameow. Jessie is sure that the ribbon will be hers, and tells Carnivine to use Bite attack.
This proves a mistake however, as Zoey tells Glameow to use Shadow Claw which knocks Carnivine back. Free from the vines, Glameow is free to attack and uses Fury Swipes repeatedly on Carnivine, much to Jessie's shock. Carnivine slides back towards Jessie, who, frustrated, tells it to use Bullet Seed. It does so, but the attack is dodged by Glameow who jumps up and uses Iron Tail on Zoey's command. The hardened tail smashes right into Carnivine, and the attack causes Jessie to lose all of her points. Zoey is declared the winner, and bows to the audience who cheers. Jessie cannot believe that she came this far to go away a loser, and mutters to herself in shock.
The audience cheers as Zoey receives her ribbon for winning the Contest, in front of the other Coordinators who clap behind her.
Not soon after, we find the group and Zoey outside, as Ash congratulates her for winning the Contest. Zoey thanks him, and wishes Dawn luck. Dawn tells her that she'll do her best for the next Contest, and that she hopes they meet again. Zoey agrees, and puts the shades on her head down in front of her eyes and walks off. Dawn shouts goodbye to her, and Zoey puts her hand up without looking back, in the age old style of rivals such as Gary and Drew. The episode ends with the group watching Zoey walk off into the sunset.
Thanks to Alfonso for Writing this for us
480: Arrival of a Rival
480: Contest Battle! Rival Confrontation!!
Dawn Loses here First Contest