Alfonso Ribeiro says the secret to winning 'DWTS' is manipulation, and thinks Laurie will win this season

Alfonso Ribeiro knows a thing or two about jiving to a championship mirrorball trophy on "Dancing With the Stars," so we weren't surprised when he stopped by AOL BUILD to explain that there is a real strategy behind winning.

"The show is about a journey, it's about improvement, and personality. There's a lot of manipulating going on with the producers, about what weeks you're doing which dances, and are you doing your best dances early or are you saving them for later," Ribeiro explained. "There's a lot that goes into pulling out a win on the show versus being the best."

His money is on US Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez this season, but he imagines her young age is going to be a real detractor for her to win. "This season Laurie Hernandez is the clear favorite to win on the dance floor. The question is, as I know, is that it's not all about the best dancer," he shared. "The fact that she's 16, that's a negative for her on the show."

The voting audience is a much older demographic and he said with the judges' scores only counting for 50 percent of the total score -- she could have a big problem on her hands.

"People might be going for MariLu Henner. All it takes for them to give her their vote at the end of the show. It's not very often do young contestants win because that's not how the audience votes."

When he went into the show in Season 19 he said he methodically studied how the point system worked and strategized with his partner when he wanted his most memorable dances to be during the season.

It sounds like -- with all reality shows -- there's more to the whole winning a reality show than meets the eyes and it looks like Ribeiro outsmarted everyone with his Carlton.