Nice start to the Grand Festival, its great to see all of Dawn's rivals in one place, although Kenny departs fast, especially after being gone for so long. Oh well, at least they remembered to include him, and out of Dawn's rivals, he was probably the weakest and the least developed, compared to her rivalries with Zoey and Ursala, and Nando is probably too powerful to lose this early (with how he's portrayed as being good at both Gyms and Contests, compared to Ash and Dawn who just focus on one). Well, it was either him or Jessie, and glad to see Jessie made it past the appeals at least.
The appeals were all nice enough, liked how Dawn used Cyndaquil to hide the ice sculpting making for a nice final appeal. And nice way for Jessie to reveal her new outfit.
Too bad Kenny messed up, but at least it was a visible difference, not just a "list everyone who passed and Kenny is missing for some reason" reveal at the end. It was fun to hear the old Pikari nickname after a long while, especially since in the meantime we found out where that name came from. Though he's gone, there's plenty of other tough battles ahead, although not sure how many we'll get to see (all of Dawn's, of course, but not sure about the others).