Cruisin' for a Losin' (Japanese: ポケモンコンテスト！ルイボス大会！！ Pokémon Contest! Rubello Tournament!) is the 38th episode of Pokémon: Advanced Challenge.
Team Rocket is kicked out of the building where the Pokémon Contest is to be held. Jessie is angry, although James and Meowth knew showing a big fake ribbon wouldn't get them in. The announcer introduces the judges. Meanwhile, May tells Savannah to relax when the Pokémon will feel upset if she does as well. Team Rocket wanders off. A woman wants Jessie's ribbon, thinking it would look pretty on her Azurill, to which Jessie agrees to. May sends Beautifly and uses Morning Sun, next Beautifly uses Silver Wind. Next, Savannah approaches May, revealing May has done the preliminary round. It is Savannah's turn, being a bit nervous.
She sends Flareon. Flareon uses Fire Spin and Tackle, amusing the audience. Next, Flareon uses Swift, then Ember, amazing the audience. Next, Savannah seems to have ended the preliminary round as well. May tells her that when one has some ribbons, the victory is not far behind. Drew chuckles, so May asks him what is so funny. Instead, he tells her to think on the future. Drew sends Roselia, using Petal Dance - the petals emerge, and so does Roselia. Meanwhile, Team Rocket sews the new ribbons (although they aren't fine enough). The announcer shows the contestants - Drew, Savannah, May and Sonny. It is decided - May needs to battle Savanna which leaves the two stunned.
Both Coordinators polish their Pokémon. May tells Savannah that she needs to give her best, no matter who she battles and anything less will be an insult to the opponent. Max, Ash and Brock go to congratulate May. Sandra tells that Savannah should just go battle like she always did. Ash goes to give advice to May, but she does not want to hear any of it. Team Rocket still sews the ribbons, even if they are tired. Sonny and Drew begin the battle - Sonny sends Girafarig and Drew his Masquerain. Girafarig uses Iron Tail, but misses and Masquerain uses Bubble. Next, Masquerain uses Ice Beam, freezing the bubbles, followed by Hidden Power, bouncing the attack from the bubbles to Girafarig, defeating it.
It is May and Savannah's turn to fight with Savannah sending out Lairon and May her Bulbasaur. Unfortunately the second Bulbasaur emerges, it freaks out, having developed a fear of so many people with May wondering what's going on. Freaked by the flashy lights, big stage and huge audience, Bulbasaur hides behind May.
In the audience, Brock remarks that he was afraid of this with Ash wondering how Brock knew. Brock brings up how when they were in the waiting room, May's anger and arguing with Ash really upset Bulbasaur but May herself didn't notice, causing Max to realize that May only cares about her winning streak.
On the stage, May tells Bulbasaur to get going or they won't have a chance. Savannah, realizing May's advice from earlier orders to Lairon to attack with Take Down.
Despite May's efforts, Bulbasaur is frozen with fear and ignores May's command but it eventually gets hit, costing May a lot of points. May attempts to mount a comeback by ordering Bulbasaur to use Vine Whip, hitting Lairon (per Savannah's order). Next, Lairon attacks with Shock Wave, paralyzing Bulbasaur (due to the fact they were tied together). Bulbasaur barely stands up. Lairon attacks with Metal Claw, defeating Bulbasaur and knocking May out of the contest.
Despite the loss, May refuses to give up, insisting that she's not done fighting. The judges intervene with Nurse Joy wondering where is May's concern for her Pokemon and that caring for their Pokemon's health should be a Coordinator's number one priority instead of focusing on the goal of winning and ultimately earning a Ribbon.
A while later, May is alone in the park outside the area and apologizes to Bulbasaur. May admits that she let her desire to win a Ribbon get the better of her and lose sight of what was really important. Bulbasaur, not wanting May to feel bad easily forgives her. Ash and Pikachu arrive as well, pointing at the screen that it is the final round - Drew vs. Savannah. Ash gives May some advice - she needs to bond with Bulbasaur to win. Lairon attacks with Metal Claw, but is negated due to Masquerain's Hidden Power. Lairon attacks with Shock Wave, but time has run out, making Drew the winner. Drew receives the ribbon.
Team Rocket advertises the ribbons they made, but nobody buys. The woman that bought the ribbon returns for the money, seeing Azurill with the giant ribbon. Savannah is happy as she still has one ribbon, knowing her victory before. May realizes that her ribbons are proof how well her Pokémon advanced. May hopes to see Savannah again, making a rival.
- Featured Pokémon: Ludicolo, Camerupt, Duskull, Mightyena.
- In the beginning of the episode, a classic Pokémon identification can be seen. In this case, it is a Magikarp.
The Pokémon Trainer's Choice states that Camerupt would be the best choice to battle Ludicolo. It would actually be the worst choice because Ludicolo's Water-type attacks would be 4× effective on Camerupt as it is a Fire/Ground-type. Ground-type attacks are not very effective against Ludicolo and Fire-type attacks are normally effective. Both Duskull and Mightyena would be normally effective on Ludicolo.