The day before the Wallace Cup, Zoey shows up at Lake Valor for the competition. She says hi to Dawn and meets May for the first time; while she's there, she also admits to Ash that Coordinators can still learn from regular Trainers, too. Not far away, Jessie is shocked to learn that she won the Solaceon Ribbon all by herself, without the use of any secret plans or cheats. Then it's on to the Wallace Cup and a dramatic entrance from Wallace himself—he'll even be one of the judges in the appeals performance round!
May and her Wartortle take the stage first and put on a great performance. In contrast, Jessie and Wobbuffet's appeals round performance doesn't actually seem to have much appeal for the judges. Then Zoey's new Finneon makes its dazzling Contest debut, which ratchets up the pressure on Dawn. It doesn't help Dawn's nerves when Ash and Buizel have a terrific performance, either; afraid of failing again, she's almost ready to quit before she starts.
Piplup responds to Dawn's anxiety with a well-timed attack that snaps Dawn back into reality. She tries to relax as she heads onstage with Ambipom, and indeed, Ambipom puts on a performance that showcases its best qualities without relying on too much flash. With the first round over, it's up to the judges to decide which Coordinators are moving on the second round. Jessie is in for a disappointment, but Dawn is relieved to know she'll be battling in the second round along with Ash, Zoey, and May!