Birth name Mariángel Ruiz Torrealba
Birth date January 7, 1980
Birth place Guárico, Venezuela
Occupations Actress and Model
Years active 2002–present
Mariángel Ruiz Torrealba is a Venezuelan show hostees, actress and fashion model. She was first introduced as Miss Aragua in the Miss Venezuela 2002 competition, she won the contest, giving her the opportunity to go to the Miss Universe 2003 pageant, where she got the first runner up title.
Mariángel has been one of the most publicized Miss Venezuelas in the recent years, having been compared to Alicia Machado (Miss Universe 1996). Like Alicia, she won her national title against every prediction (in a contest where the results are almost never surprise) and was considered a "rebel" Miss Venezuela. Also, like Alicia, she turned in a spectacular performance at Miss Universe, in comparison to more "conventional" titleholders, and overcame a number of major odds both within and outside her control.
Mariángel actually tried twice for the Miss Venezuela title, the first time in 1998 when she did not even place into the top 120 candidates. In 2002, she won the preliminary casting in Maracay, becoming Miss Aragua 2002. For the national pageant, she was not a favorite and was predicted to place as finalist as best. Big favorites for her year were Vanessa Fanesi (Yaracuy), Amara Barroeta (Distrito. Capital), Solsiret Herrera (Monagas), and Driva Cedeño (Nueva Esparta), as well as Aida Yespica (Amazonas) and Maria Fernanda Leon (Portuguesa), the only candidates to ever compete twice in Miss Venezuela history (not including Miss Republica Bolivariana Venezuela 2000). Against all prognostications, Mariangel won the pageant, which for the first time was judged entirely by former Miss Venezuelas. Her victory was completely unexpected by the contestants.
After being crowned Miss Venezuela, Mariángel had to confront several obstacles before being able to represent her homeland in the Miss Universe pargeant. First of all, was gaining Osmel Sousa's approval: he considered Ruiz to be "rebellious" and threatened to send Amara Barroeta, her first runner-up, to Miss Universe if she did not stop her weight gain and focus on her training. Soon after, a hugely publicized "crisis" emerged in which it was claimed that the Organizacion Miss Venezuela did not have enough hard currency, due to President Chavez's government foreign exchange controls, to pay the franchise fee and send its delegate. At the same time, Osmel Sousa agreed to train Amelia Vega, Miss Dominican Republic, for a week in Caracas while Mariángel was placed on "standby".
* Bailando con las Estrellas (2005), as Contestant
* Portada's (2005–present), as Hostees
* Cosita Rica (2003), as Alegria Mendez
* Que Locura (2003), as Guest Hostees