Wenger's Reality TV Show...Is my imagination getting carried away?

I'm trying to tease out one of Wenger's many thoughts. In an attempt to decipher his cryptic code, I wondered if I could apply his thinking to a pop culture trend. Surgeon General's Warning: I may be going too far, so proceed only at your own risk...

Wenger discusses imagination and its role in creating community, not necessarily a community of practice, but rather a sense of community. If Wenger read this post, he might agree that my thoughts are a stretch just as applying his notion of imagination in creating communities of practice is, but I am going to try it anyway.

Wenger says that when watching a television show, we can imagine that there are numerous other viewers who are watching. Consequently we start to feel a sense of belonging. I wonder what Wenger would say to certain reality television shows and their impact on our imaginations. In particular, I am considering American Idol (AI). When you watch AI, you see the audience members. By physically seeing some of the fellow viewers (including stars sometimes), does that impact our imagination and consequently our sense of belonging? After all, it provides a visual image of those who tune in each week to watch the show. Moreover, each week the show also declares the number of votes cast during that particular week. That said, does that declaration also impact our imagination and our sense of belonging? Beyond the hundreds that we see in the audience, we hear that millions have voted, does that increase our sense of community?