Playing the Performance Encore! (Japanese: ダブルバトル！ＶＳプラスル・マイナン！！Double Battle! VS Prasle & Minun!!) is the 162nd episode of the Diamond & Pearl series, and the 628th episode of the Pokémon anime. It first aired in Japan on February 4, 2010 and in the United States on July 3, 2010.
After successfully making their way through the first round of the Daybreak Town Pokémon Contest, Dawn, Ursula, and Jessilina (a disguised Jessie) all face challenges in Round Two. Jessilina and Ursula are the first to face each other. Ursula and her Plusle and Minun make quick work of Jessilina and her Seviper and Yanmega. Soon, the other Coordinators and their Pokémon get eliminated, so it all boils down to the final round! Dawn, with her Cyndaquil and Mamoswine, face off against Ursula and her Plusle and Minun.
Suddenly, Ursula hits Cyndaquil and Mamoswine with the Encore attack, which allows Pokémon to use only their previous attack! Dawn's Pokémon are getting whipped, but Dawn thinks of a way out. She has her Pokémon attack each other, which sets them free from Encore. With mere seconds left on the clock, Dawn's Pokémon battle furiously...and win!
So, with Dawn's fifth Ribbon in hand, her attention focuses on the upcoming Grand Festival. A clearly bitter Ursula assures her she won't win there. But, in the meantime, it's Ash's upcoming battle at the Sunyshore Gym that's next on our heroes' schedule, as Ash shoots for his eighth Gym Badge!
Dawn and Ursula have made it past the Performance Stage and must now face each other in battle. But Ursula has a secret plan for Plusle and Minun. Will Dawn be able to defeat Ursula and win her fifth and final Contest Ribbon?
The Battle Stage of the DaybreakContest starts with Jessilina using Seviper and Yanmega against Ursula's Plusle and Minun. Jessilina commands Seviper to use Haze and Yanmega to use SonicBoom. It creates a beautiful spinning move, taking a few points from Ursula's score. Plusle and Minun use a combined Spark to break it into a dazzling shower of sparkles, deducting more points from Jessilina's score. Yanmega lifts Seviper into the air. Plusle and Minun use Helping Hand to power up. Yanmega uses Silver Wind and Seviper charges with a Poison Tail. Silver Wind hits Seviper's tail, sending a twirl of poison beams at the Cheering Pokémon and deducting their points. To counter, they use a combined Spark attack powered by Helping Hand, creating an explosion followed by a shower of blue and green sparkles, leaving them vulnerable. Seviper is released while Plusle and Minun twirl into a tumbleweed-like formation using Spark, then at the last second they split, Plusle lunging towards Seviper while Minun launches in the air towards Yanmega. Two great balls of light appear with a popping sound. Both of Jessilina's Pokémon fall, unable to battle, and Ursula wins the match.
The episode shows many Pokémon battling, and shows part of a battle between Dawn with Mamoswine and Cyndaquil against an unnamed Coordinator with a Mightyena and a Houndoom. Cyndaquil uses Flame Wheel and Mamoswine uses Ice Shard, pulling off the first stage of flame ice. However, the ice melts halfway through, shocking Dawn and Mamoswine. Cyndaquil collides with the Dark and Bite Pokémon, creating a fire explosion. Dawn wins and moves on in the competition, but she is still disappointed that her attempt at Flame Ice was unsuccessful. She is then shown practicing the move, but--once again--the ice melts too early. Ash tries to comfort her by telling her that it looked great, but Brock suggests that she try a more reliable move. Ursula is shown hiding behind a door, grinning smugly, then walking away. Later, both Dawn and Ursula are shown winning their matches, putting them in the finals together. In the hair dressing room, they argue, Ursula pulling the Dee Dee card. Piplup looks from side to side as they argue. Ursula leaves as Dawn says to herself, "Calm down. No need to worry."
Dawn sends out Mamoswine and Cyndaquil, the Ele-Seals on their Ball Capsules creating a torrent of lightning bolts, then Cyndaquil falls playfully on Mamoswine's tusks, beautifully blasting fire. Ursula sends out Plusle and Minun, surrounded by petals created by Flora Seals. At first, no one could see her Pokémon, but then the petals scattered, revealing Plusle and Minun. When they landed, they touched their tails together, creating sparks everywhere. Johanna and her Glameow are then seen watching TV. Johanna says, "Of all the Pokémon Dawn could face, it had to be those two in the finals," referring to the Diamond-Dandruff incident that earned Dawn her nickname "Dee Dee". Dawn commands Mamoswine to use Ice Shard, which it then eats, like Ash's Grotle did with its Energy Ball. Cyndaquil uses Swift to surround Mamoswine, then lands on the ice spike, blasting fire. They charge, and Mamoswine uses Take Down. Plusle and Minun jump up to dodge, and subsequently use Encore, losing Dawn points. Mamoswine and Cyndaquil then glow a dulled color.
Dawn commands Mamoswine to use Hidden Power and Cyndaquil to use Flame Wheel, but instead they use Take Down and Swift because of Encore, as Ursula explains. Plusle and Minun use Helping Hand and then Charge Beam, hitting them Dawn's Pokémon and taking away more points from her. Jessie became "officially impressed." Then the Cheering Pokémon use Spark, deducting more points. They try to dodge, but go back to their regular attacks. Both sparks make contact. They then repeat it, making Dawn lose more points. Dawn, Mamoswine, and Cyndaquil's hair light up. Dawn becomes very scared of everyone seeing her like that, when Mamoswine and Cyndaquil look up at her, their hair dying down. She then realizes that they can still move.
She stands up and straightens her hair. Dawn commands, to everyone's shock, for Cyndaquil and Mamoswine to attack each other. She says to trust her, but she loses more points. Encore wears off, but by then there are only 30 seconds left. Plusle and Minun use Charge Beam, and they dodge by jumping in the air. Then, Dawn pulls off Flame Ice perfectly, deducting points from Ursula. Cyndaquil shoots fire and launches itself forward, managing to separate Plusle and Minun. They get back together and use Spark, but Cyndaquil uses SmokeScreen to break their combination. Mamoswine uses Hidden Power on knocking it backward, while Cyndaquil uses Swift on Minun. The Cheering Pokémon start to charge up for a double Spark, but time runs out. Dawn then wins the DaybreakContest. Dawn receives the Daybreak Ribbon, qualifying her for the Grand Festival.
This episode first aired in both Japan and the United States only a week shy of a year since the episode in which Dawn obtained her last Ribbon and in which Ursula herself debuted.
This episode marks Cyndaquil's first Contest, and, coincidentally, it aired in Japan in the same week that An Egg Scramble!, the episode when Cyndaquil was obtained, aired in America.
While Dawn is watching Ursula's battle against Jessilina, a male Coordinator next to her wears the same clothing that Giovanni is seen wearing prior to the Best Wishes series: an orange tuxedo and a light tan shirt under. The only difference is that the Coordinator is wearing a differently colored tie.
This episode is similar to A Cacturne for the Worse in that both episodes feature the main Coordinator's unfriendly rival taking advantage of a childhood story to embarrass her in the middle of a Contest Battle. Both stories earned the character her nickname, though May received hers from Harley as a result of the story, whereas Dawn had had hers since childhood.
At the time this episode aired, Togetic was hit by Shadow Ball despite being part Normal-type. As of Generation VI, this is no longer an error for Togetic's Normal-type was changed to Fairy-type, thus making Togetic no longer immune to Ghost-type moves.
In the scene right before Ursula and Jessie start battling, half of Yanmega's eyes are missing.
Marian says that "Flamethrower makes the Ice Shard glow with a striking crimson", though Dawn's Cyndaquil did not know Flamethrower at the time.
Cyndaquil's Smokescreen appeared to cause damage when it should only lower the target's accuracy.
However, it could be that because Plusle and Minun could not see each other, their combination failed and they fell to the ground, therefore taking damage.
Before the Flame Ice occurs, Mamoswine's blue mask is a lighter blue than usual.
Near the end of the episode, Pikachu's eyes are completely white.
The version of this episode that aired in North America and was released on home video leaves all the original music intact. The version that aired in the United Kingdom replaces most of the music with new music created by The Pokémon Company International.