May and Max are ready to depart to Hoenn. What remains is to get a boat that should take them there. Brock and Ash have similar ideas to get back to home. As they wander before the boat comes, May sees an advertisement of a Pokémon Contest, which is today. May thinks about participating, since it is unofficial, and unusually, Ash wants to enter as well. Inside the building, Ash and May fill in papers for the Contest. Ash decides to use Pikachu and Sceptile, while May her Eevee and Combusken. Team Rocket sees many Pokémon and will capture them.
The Contest is about to begin. Nurse Joy tells the winner will get Teracotta City Contest ribbon. She wishes luck to the Contestants. First is May, who is known as the Top Four Contestant of Kanto Grand Festival. May sends Eevee, who digs. Next, Eevee uses Shadow Ball, making the balls come out of the hole and make fireworks. After some performances, it is Ash's turn. Pikachu uses Quick Attack and combines with Thunderbolt, making a circle. With the Iron Tail, the circle is moving around and with another Iron Tail, it splits to three circles. The audience, including May, are impressed. Next, the screen displays the two Contestants to battle with each other. They are May and Ash.
Later, Ash and May brag who will get out with the ribbon. Sceptile and Combusken see each other with a rivalry gleam in their eyes. Suddenly, they hear something - a hip comes and the food comes out of it. Team Rocket gives them food to attract them, then fire a net to capture them all. Team Rocket takes their disguises off and fire another net, getting Pikachu as well. Jessie wants all the Pokémon that were left out, even if Meowth and James hesitate. Combusken uses Mega Kick, freeing the Pokémon that were captured. Sceptile uses Pound to get them out of the ship. Pikachu uses Thunderbolt, electrocuting them and May orders Combusken to use Fire Spin, but Combusken feels ill. However, it is no sickness - Combusken evolves to a Blaziken!
Team Rocket fires another net, but Blaziken cuts it and uses Blaze Kick. With this, Blaziken blasts them off. May hugs Blaziken for such prowess. Now, it is definitive that Ash has to battle a powerful Pokémon. Inside the building, the battle is about to begin. Ash and May tell each other they need to give their best and wish good luck. They send their Pokémon - Sceptile and Blaziken. Sceptile starts with Pound, though it does not make much damage. Sceptile uses Bullet Seed, but Blaziken dodges. Sceptile uses Leaf Blade, but Blaziken evades. Sceptile chases Blaziken, who gets to an end and gets pounded. Sceptile uses Bullet Seed, though it is countered by Fire Spin and gets hit. Blaziken uses Sky Uppercut, though Sceptile dodges.
Sceptile uses Leaf Blade, hitting Blaziken and pounds it. Sceptile uses Bullet Seed, pushing Blaziken, then pounds it. Sceptile uses Leaf Blade, but misses. Blaziken retaliates with Sky Uppercut, so Sceptile counters it with Leaf Blade. Blaziken uses Blaze Kick, so Sceptile stops it by pounding. Both Pokémon are exhausted, but will continue to battle. Suddenly, Sceptile glows, as its ability Overgrowth kicks in. Blaziken glows as well, but is has the Blaze ability. Sceptile charges with Leaf Blade and gets countered by Sky Uppercut. Sceptile uses Pound and Blaziken Blaze Kick, countering the moves. They use their most powerful moves - Blaziken uses Overheat and Sceptile fires a SolarBeam and an explosion is made, covering the field with smoke. Time is up, but the screen is covered in smoke and everyone anticipates the result of this heated battle.
An alternate cut of 私、負けない！ ～ハルカのテーマ～ I Won't Lose! ~Haruka's Theme~ is used as background music during May's appeal.
An alternate cut of Spurt! is used as background music during Ash's appeal.
Dance of the Bellossom is used as background music during the other appeals.
Pokémon Symphonic Medley is used as background music during the battle between Ash and May.
May's Combusken and Blaziken are both listed in the credits separately, as they have different voice actors.
The flag on the Team Rocket mecha depicts a variant of the Flag of Japan and Mount Fuji.
The unofficial Contest was promoted using a recolored version of the international logo for the Pokémon franchise (that shows the word "Pokémon" in red letters bordered in a yellow outline, while the actual logo has yellow letters that are bordered in blue). Also, no Generation III Pokémon appear on the poster.
This episode's title is a pun on the saying "once more with feeling".
In Going for Choke!, it was established that Contest battles ending in ties would result in an extra battle. Ash and May did not have an extra battle even though they tied. It is possible that an extra battle was not held because it was an unofficial Contest.
Two green-eyed Jigglypuff are visible.
One of these may be a consistency error.
As Team Rocket hauls in the nets the nets are opaque.
This is likely an animation simplifier.
In one scene as the camera looks down on the Team Rocket float and the various Pokémon come running up to them, the dorsal fin on their Magikarp net launcher is red.
When Team Rocket launches their nets, the nets have large holes to get the Pokémon. Moments later, the holes are gone with no trace of the orange weights or the hole.
When Combusken is evolving. May moves her head up before it becomes Blaziken, fully, in the next shot, but, when the camera goes back to her face, her face is in the same position as when she was looking at Combusken on the ground and looks up, as if it hadn't grown in size while evolving.
In one scene toward the end, when Blaziken uses Overheat, its eyes are red instead of blue. This may be intentional.
The announcer incorrectly states that Overgrow ups the power of all attacks and implies the same for Blaze.
Ash's Sceptile with its Ability, Overgrow activated