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ContestShipping (Japanese: シュウハル ShuHaru) is the name given to the May and Drew coupling supported by many fans of the Pokémon anime. The name stems from the fact that the pair are rivals who compete against each other in Pokémon Contests.
The pair first met in Slateport City during Now That's Flower Power!, where Drew became May's version of Gary in the way he treated and spoke to her, criticizing her skills and generally being haughty. The nature of their relationship gradually changed as the series went on, finally coming to a subplot climax in the episode The Unbeatable Lightness of Seeing! that seemingly put this Ship on the clear track to being canon over the litter of one-sided canon relationships that bloomed before it.
However, it fell short of bluntly revealing any feelings, left merely as strongly implications that any feelings between them were mutual or even there, and in turn leaves the absolution of this Ship's canonization in question, as it was not brought up during May's brief return to the group in Sinnoh. Ultimately, as canon as supporters feel it is, its opposers feel there remains a gap just wide enough for argument in favor of its Ship rival, AdvanceShipping, and continue the debate between the two.
- In Drew's first episode Drew seemed to like her from the moment he saw her because he would not make fun of her act if he never saw it. Also he seemed very unhappy when May did not finish their battle.
- Drew's second appearance on the television series introduces the recurring theme of Drew giving May roses. Drew hands his rose to May who stares at it in surprise. She blushes and thanks him for the rose to which Drew responds with, "It's not for you, it's for your Beautifly! It looks like the coordinator still has a lot of training to do."
- After May's Beautifly performs its failed Gust and String Shot combination, Drew appears and makes a negative comment about May's ability as a coordinator. He openly flirts with May this time, claiming that he's flattered that she remembered his name and subsequently hands her a second rose. Before he leaves, he warns May to not "get her hopes up." His excuse for coming to talk to her was to see Beautifly, a common excuse at the beginning of the series.
- Upon receiving her first ribbon from the Fallarbor Contest, May is congratulated by Drew, who delivers his third rose. Upon receiving it, May asks Drew rather coyly if the rose is for Beautifly again, indicating that she has suspicions as to the true nature of his roses. Drew slightly admits that the roses aren't really for Beautifly as he responds to her question with a dubious, "Yeah... Something like that..." This shows that the rose is obviously for May. Since a red rose means love, this can mean Drew has very special feelings for May.
- At the beginning of the episode, Drew is facing a masked opponent. After being defeated, he runs into Ash and company at the Pokémon Center. Drew tells May he won't be entering the Contest. May is shocked, but she also seems disappointed she won't be able to see him.
- A few scenes in this episode, shows Drew watching the Contest in the audience. During the episode, Drew comments on how May has improved. Later, Drew is surprised that May had won, but also shows that he's happy for her.
- One scene includes a closeup of May and Drew holding hands while falling down a cliff. Another interesting thought is that both May and Drew rescued the other; May rescuing Drew while he was about to drown along the river and Drew rescuing May from Team Rocket. Also, when May says that Brock would know what to do, Drew looks slightly jealous. Additionally, when May joins in the Wynaut's little "party," the camera sequence indicates that Drew is watching May closely.
- Amidst May and Drew's conversation, Harley interrupts and notices that May has received her fourth rose from Drew. He immediately suspects that May and Drew are in love which causes May to blush and protest at Harley's remark. She quickly responds that Drew mostly made fun of her and they were just rivals. After Harley left, Drew quickly walked away in a huff, suspecting that he was disappointed in May's description of him.
- While Harley is talking to May in the background, Drew is seen in the foreground sulking, indicating that he's jealous of Harley. Although his behavior may be passed off as suspicion, Drew makes no apparent efforts to stave May away from Harley's false advice.
- While May was following Harley's false advice, Drew constantly watches Harley, and catches him slipping up. Later on, when May apologizes for not going through with Skitty's Assist the whole way, Drew tells her about Harley's plan. Unbelieving, May went face to face with a foiled Harley, who remarked, albeit rather angrily, in turn that, "It almost worked too, and you never would have known if your annoying boyfriend over here had kept his trap shut." Neither May nor Drew bothered correcting his statement.
- When May and Drew say their goodbyes at the end of the episode, Drew mentions that he'd like to see May again in the next Grand Festival. May then blushingly stares at Drew as he walks away down the beach. She barely seems to acknowledge Ash, Brock, Max, and her mother, all who have come over and are standing right next to her. While May is talking to her friends and family, May's mother, Caroline, interrupts and teases her daughter about Drew. In response, May overreacts and protests in embarrassment.
- During the episode May shows obvious evidence that she's annoyed by Drew. Some ContestShippers believe this is her way of hiding her feelings. Later in the episode, after May and Drew both attempt to catch Arcanine, Team Rocket shows up. Ash and Brock try to help get Arcanine and Growlithe back, but May and Drew both insist that they work together. At the end of the episode Drew tells May about a Contest coming up. She asks if he is entering and he replies, "Nah, I have to find a new Pokémon to strengthen my team first, but I think you'd do really well in it."
- At the end of the episode following May's defeat to Harley, May receives a letter and a rose from Drew via Lilian which informs her of another Contest where she can again qualify for another ribbon. It is noted that this rose is given an unusual amount of focus during this double-take in which it takes up the entire screen.
- May is holding the rose and the letter she receives in the previous episode while on a boat. She apparently considers these two items as sentimental to her. As May already knows quite well what Drew means with the roses at this point in time now, her keeping and looking at Drew's romantic token that appeared in a prior episode is quite significant.
- It is revealed that the rose and the letter was not sent by Drew but by a rookie coordinator named Brianna. May teases Drew about the mix-up, rationalizing that it's not her fault for thinking the rose and the letter was from him. Drew gets slightly embarrassed and blushes when his Roselia begins teasing him as well.
- Brianna presses the question if May likes Drew or not. In response, May's behavior becomes cautious and coy as she blushes and reacts sensitively to the idea of her and Drew being a couple.
- After the battle with Brianna and May, Ash asks Drew how he thinks about it, he replies with a "so-so." Brock remarks teasingly with, "Gee, Drew, why don't you tell us how you really feel?"
- Jessie observes May's affections twice in this episode. She first comments about being in love when talking to Brianna and May. The second time, she's sitting with Mime Jr. on the beach, commenting and reminiscing on romance. James and Meowth observe from a distance, confused with her out of character personality.
- At the end of the episode, Drew reminds May that she only has two ribbons left until the Grand Festival in Kanto. Again, Drew walks off on the beach with May staring after him, blushing.
- When Ash, Brock and Max fly away with Team Rocket's Balloon, Drew follows it and rescues them. When Ash thanks him later, Drew says that he only did it for May, so someone could cheer her on.
- Near the end of the episode, when May talks to her friends, Drew appears again. Ash starts recounting how Drew saved the party only to have May rushing over to Drew without listening to him. Max tells Ash that she didn't hear what he had to say.
- When Drew says goodbye, May whispers his name and smiles as he walks away.
- May meets Solidad, one of Drew's old friends, and talk for a bit. Solidad tells her that she and Drew are close, and talk to each other often. When May asks her what they talk about, Solidad smiles and tells her, "He's the type who never listens to anyone else's advice. So, we end up talking about other coordinators we might've seen in performance, and at some point, he started in on you. You and only you." Later, Solidad tells May, "He's gotten feelings for you." This left May confused.
- After May beats Drew for the first time he walks back stage to congratulate her. He flips his hair as always and shakes her hand.
- Later when May is battling Solidad Drew is watching. When May loses he appears to be sad. Rather then be happy one of his best friends won, he shows sympathy for the fact that May lost.
- At the end of the episode, Solidad gives May a rose from Drew. May runs after him to say goodbye. When Drew leaves, Ash, Brock, Max and Scott show up. May looks quietly while smiling at the rose she had received.
- When May and Drew are talking alone, May says, "I've been thinking a lot about you lately." Drew quickly but calmly replies, "Were they good thoughts?" May quickly responds saying, "Come on, of course they were!" She then continues to talk about their past fondly.
- Near the end of the episode, Drew and May look at the sunset together. They continue to talk until they are interrupted by Harley who discusses the connection between sunsets and romance. He looks at them and says, "How touching. It's dangerous, two kids alone like this." May immediately tries to dispute that notion, despite blushing in front of him.
- シュウハル ShuHaru - the Japanese name of the ship.
- DAML - stands for Drew And May Love.