The following was my responce in a facebook discussion, thought it merited a post here
A challenge in a magic performance is a no win situation. If the audience is fooled or loses the challenge they feel they deserve the answer or will try to construct one instead of enjoying the entertainment.
If the audience succeeds in wining the challenge the magician has been bested and loses his aura.
No one likes to be "fooled" and the performers who can fool an audience and have the audience like being "fooled' and still like the performer are very few. The fooling or challenge aspect of performing magic is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome. We are entertainers who take our audiences on a journey, share wondrous things, excite them, even at times educate. As magic in evolving in this decade hopefully we are seeing far fewer "tricksters" whose performance is about I can do this and fool you, isn't that cool .... because it never is