Here it is, the last Grand Festival. The first episode - the rivals meet up with one another and compete in the Double Performance appeal round. The top 32 coordinators pass on to the battle rounds. Dawn's had the best appeal, although I thoroughly enjoyed everybody's. It was a shame that Kenny did not make it, but with so many rivals frolicking around, someone had to go.
There is a lot of character interaction on all sides. Nando thanks Ash and Dawn for allowing him to experience the joys of battling and contests. Ursula's stressful relationship with Dawn, remarking that she is going to lose so she might as well put the effort in making Ursula look good. Kenny trying to get one up on Dawn through Dee-Dee. Jessalina annoying Ursula to a degree. Last but not least, Dawn's promise with Zoey to make it to the finals.
Ash and Gible try to perfect Draco Meteor, but to no avail. Fantina makes a surprise appearance as the special judge, in addition to a Nurse Joy from the Hoenn Region (Lilycove). Wow, to think that the Lilycove Nurse Joy has sisters working in another region.
Well, TPCI certainly kept some decent tracks during the beginning of the episode (i.e. Sandgem). However, I'm still disappointed that the music has to be censored out. At least for the Grand Festival, the dub could step its game up a bit.
I don't want to be too preachy on this whole music discussion, but the BGM is what makes an episode grand. Keeping in certain tracks will elevate the mood during an important battle, or make an emotional scene tear-jerking. Hopefully TPCI keeps more of the original music at least until the Grand Festival ends.